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***** On The Downbeat

by | Oct 1, 2022 | ComLine, Voices of Recovery

I rush around the house, frantically getting homework done, and preparing for high school band practice. I play french horn in this band, piano in the dance band, and bells in the marching band. The September concert date is coming soon. My stomach is in upheaval. I know there will be another fight. Living in rural Vermont, the trip to town for band rehearsal is 20 minutes one way – in good weather.

As usual, the silence before the storm is looming. It’s the ominous hush before the terrorizing clouds burst.

I walk downstairs as Mom and Dad begin yelling at each other. 

“You bring her to practice. You’re the one who insisted that she join.” 

“No, you have to bring her because I am King of the Castle. What the King wants is what will happen. I have more important things to do.”  

“But I am exhausted from working all day.” 

“Yeah, so?” 

“I cannot just sit in the car while she’s at practice and there’s nothing to do for two hours.”

“It’s your job – it’s women’s work.”

While I begin to cry, as usual Mom puts on her coat, glares at me, and bitterly says to me, “Let’s go. You’d better appreciate this.”

*****THE UPBEAT 

I rush around the house, frantically getting homework done, and preparing for high school band practice. I play french horn in this band, piano in the dance band, and bells in the marching band. I am excited to go to practice tonight. I know there will be another lively discussion in the car while commuting into town. We will share our day with each other and talk about the concert. Living in rural Vermont, the trip to town for band rehearsal is 20 minutes one way – in good weather.

As usual, Mom and Dad are enthusiastic about me belonging in the high school band. The support and excitement about the impending concert make me feel important, make me feel alive. My parents’ support and encouragement gives me validation of their love, and my worth as a young woman.

I walk downstairs. Mom and Dad have flipped a coin. They have decided together that Dad will stay home and handle the evening chores and Mom will drive me into town. She has a book she can read while the band practices.

While I begin to cry, my heart is bursting with love and affection for this opportunity. I can learn and grow in a world of music and harmony.

Julie N

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