On Friday night I attended my sister's orchestra concert. The show was great. And predictable. Like every Pops Concert before, the show ended with all three orchestras performing Stars and Stripes Forever. And just like every Pops Concert I had played in, as the last section of the song began, in full FORTE, they dropped the American flag. So patriotic.
I knew it was coming. Every year as I stood in the orchestra pit playing those very notes, I couldn't look at my friend Abby without laughing. Laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of it. At the audience clapping along, goofy grins plastered on their faces. It was always a riot.
As I sat there watching my sister and laughing to myself, I realized how weird it was to be on the other side. Watching, not playing. That was me up there from fourth grade till graduation. Hours of practice, countless concerts and one amazing trip to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and the South Pacific. And for the first time in a long time, I longed to play in a group again.
Afterwards, we all filed into Cafeteria A for cookies and juice. As we pushed through the double doors I felt like John Mayer should be playing in the background. It was all so familiar to be back there, but also so strange.
Had it really been only seven years since I last walked those halls?
It feels like a lifetime ago.