We spent weeks practicing for the Christmas performance.
Each of us got a different wooden block with a metal bar on top of it. There was a big color dot on the side.
The teacher had a chart with colored dots on it.
When she pointed to the color of your block, you hit the bar with a little stick with a ball on the end of it, and it played a note. When we all hit our notes at the right time, we played “Jingle Bells,” “We Wish you a Merry Christmas,” “Silent Night” and “Frosty the Snowman.”
We were good. Even I got it right most of the time. My dot was blue, my favorite color.
The day of the performance came and our parents filed into the room and took their seats.
Mom and Dad were there right in front. And I was in the front row of our band.
I showed them my blue dot. Mom smiled. The music started.
I waved at Dad. He smiled back.
Then, all a sudden, the music stopped. I heard the teacher clear her throat. Hrrmph.
Mom wasn’t smiling anymore. She was pointing at the teacher. I looked over. The teacher was looking at me. And pointing at my dot.
I had missed my turn. I banged on the bar with my stick. I did it about ten times, which wasn’t on the chart, but I figured I had to make up for not paying attention.
The teacher said, Why don’t we start over? Eddie, are you with us this time?
I wanted to disappear. I wanted to become invisible. I wanted a big hole to open up and swallow me. But it didn’t happen. Instead we started playing “Jingle Bells” again.
I was sure everyone was watching me. I was sweating and my hands were shaking but his time I did it right.
Mom and Dad left in a hurry as soon as the concert was over.