This morning I clicked on a document for the heck of it wondering what it was. I was intrigued by the title. Turns out they were the words to a new song my oldest is composing. As I read, I was overtaken by weeping. The song is about the seven year anniversary of his Dad's death. Very heartfelt, beautiful words. On their own, even without music they are amazing.
My son, in addition to being a fine singer, guitar, drum and sax player also composes his own music. I have hesitated posting any of his lyrics here even though I have been tempted on numerous occasions. Most of his songs deal with overcoming adversity and becoming a better/stronger man. The love songs he writes are odes to supporting his love and being there for them, not deserting them but standing by. The first song he ever composed was back in middle school and was about his Dad. It is a very touching, surprisingly mature piece that was one of his garage band's main lineup. Now he is a solo performer with a voice along the lines of John Mayer. I have felt his lyrics to be so good, I have worried about someone taking them. I think they're that good and I'm trying not to overly inflate his skills because I'm his mom.
Anyway, my son won a local talent contest this summer. He had wanted to go to Milwaukee to try out for American Idol but the local contest was at the exact same time and I felt in my heart that my son, although very good, is only 17 and would be competing against artists in their 20s. He lacks their experience and maturity. So I pushed for him competing in the local contest, which he won. He performed an original piece and blew the judges away. One of the comments underlined three times was "You are very talented!" along with similar phrases. The fact that the song he composed and performed was so good was what got him the most praise. He has a great voice, excellent stage presence, is nice looking but boy can he write.
So now he is on to the next stage of the contest which is state-wide, held in Springfield in the winter. We'll see what comes of it. It means more exposure for him. At this point, he has enough original material for an entire CD of his own. Maybe for the heck of it we'll go ahead and get him on YouTube like all these other young singers. In my opinion, what sets him apart is that not only can he sing cover songs, but he writes his own material. Songs that have real meaning and can inspire people to do good things, live better lives, be more appreciative of what they now have. I just called my son who got out early from school to ask about this song. I asked him if he writes the music or words first. He told me the music first. I then asked him how long it took him to come up with the lyrics - only three days (and not much time on them that I can tell because he only works on them in his little spare time after school, football, seeing his girlfriend and homework. Wow!).
So the talent contest win was a nice aspect of the summer. Along with that there was football camp which is the entire summer for us, not just a week or two in August. Both boys played well on a summer baseball league, but my oldest was often absent for football and it was the youngest who made every game (the only one of the team of 16 players to do so) and he shone with his athletic skills. My youngest decided to quit football midway through the summer declaring that his heart just isn't in contact sports and he refuses to participate in a sport that isn't fun or meaningful for him any longer. I was proud of his decision which he spent a great deal of contemplation over.
My oldest participated in a volleyball camp and did work as an ump for the local little league until his sports schedule was too hectic. My youngest took a crazy condensed three-week driver's ed class and was one of the few who passed at the end, driving well enough to earn his license through the class so now after the nine-month waiting period he can just get his license instead of having to go to the DMV and take the driving test. I was so proud of him because I didn't have a lot of time or the gas money to let him practice much besides his drive time in the class.
As for me, I worked the entire summer consolidating and moving three storage sheds at three different locations into one location. It was grueling and a hellish job and mostly accomplished by myself because the boys were at school much of the time. I still need to go through stuff and get rid of things but at least I now have better access since this is an indoor facility, whereas before, I wasn't able to get to the sheds in the winter months.
So, all in all, a pretty full and rewarding summer. I try to focus on this when I debate whether we should have moved in with Sam or stayed here for the remaining years of high school. Now, with school newly started I am proud of my oldest playing football and he just made the Show Choir. He wanted to add a vocal group to his experience for his college applications and was sought out to join by the teacher adviser. She told him he was the best male singer in the group and would be given a solo. My youngest is performing in the Powder Puff Football male dance team like my oldest did last year and it was just hilarious! I'm glad he is doing it because he is less outgoing and a bit on the shy side compared to his older brother. He has also joined the Key Club, which I'm not exactly sure about what they do, but he says it is good for his experience. Both boys want more than just sports as their high school activities. My youngest also got a job on the weekends as part of a set-up crew for local fairs in the area.
They are great boys and I have to focus on that and them during these tough times. The decisions I've made have been with their best interests at heart and I can't lose sight of that and must keep in my mind the bigger picture.