Last fall, Joseph began playing clarinet with the STEAM Middle School band. This was a new instrument for Joseph, and for our family. We accepted an offer from Mary Ann, a friend at church, to use her daughter’s old clarinet, a beautiful old Buffet Crampon model made in France.
To our delight, Joseph has learned very quickly, making enormous progress since the fall. We enjoy hearing him practice, and it’s been fun to see him in the fall and spring concerts.
But disaster struck on a recent Thursday.
When Joseph and Josie came home on a recent Thursday, Joseph didn’t have his clarinet.
Yoli was certain she had seen him leave the house with it early that morning. Joseph, meanwhile, insisted he didn’t have the clarinet with him when he walked into STEAM Middle that morning.
A thorough search of our house didn’t turn up anything. When Yoli checked with the bus driver, she hadn’t found it. Nor was it in the school’s lost and found.
We began to feel desperate. Joseph needed to practice for his spring concert, which was just days away, and would count for a grade.
It was time to go full-on Inspector Morse … or Lynley … or Foyle … or Miss Scarlet. (We watch a lot of British inspectors)
Joseph returned to the Beaumont Scout Reservation in August and September for the Cub Scouts’ Shoot-O-Ree and Cub Launch events. Joseph was at Cub Launch last year, but this was his first Shoot-O-Ree.
They had all sorts of things for the Cub Scouts to shoot: catapults, BB guns, slinghots, bows and arrows, Nerf guns and more. Joseph enjoyed trying it all.
At Cub Launch, of course Joseph wanted to shoot the BB guns again. But he also spent a lot of time playing at Fort Hussman, and playing on the Pirate Ship. He’s really been into “Master and Commander”, the British Navy, and the American Revolution lately, so he was running around yelling nautical terms like “Make sail!”
He even found a few kids who were willing to be led. One of them said “I brought you a chair, mister.” Joseph responded: “Don’t call me mister. Call me ‘sir’!”
Editor’s note: This year, Ludi, Josie, and Joseph all participated in “Miss Kathey’s Academy,” and performed in “The Very Big Christmas Show” in December. All of them did awesome. Josie in particular had a memory she wanted to share:
I am in Miss Kathey’s Academy. I didn’t really expect it, but Miss Kathey said she wanted a small kid to sing a solo called “Happy Birthday, Jesus.” She wanted someone 8 or under.
Me and my friend both went to Pastor Bob to try out. He chose me to do the solo! After that, we practiced once a month every month until December.
I was super-scared at our first performance. Even the tape that held the microphone on to my cheek made me scared. But when I got out on stage and looked at the audience, I realized I couldn’t just chicken out. I said my lines to Santa, the music started, and I began to sing.
Editor’s note: Joseph played on his first baseball team this summer, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, which is located at the end of our street. My dad went to school there long ago when it was called Sts. John and James. Anyway, Joseph shares his memories of his first baseball season:
It was my first time being on a baseball team. My coach’s name was coach Cliff.
When the team is in the field, there’s only one person who wears a helmet when you’re in the little league, and that’s the pitcher. There are two pitchers: the first one is the coach who throws a baseball. The other one is a kid player and he wears a helmet. I normally wasn’t pitcher, but a few times I did get to be pitcher. Once my dad thought that I was going to be batting when I was pitcher because I was wearing a helmet.
I did not have a favorite position. However, I did a least favorite position: shortstop. Because I’m not short and I don’t like stopping!
I wasn’t so good at batting [but he got better!].
I learned in baseball that when you’re throwing a ball, you throw it to first base and you always take a step with the opposite foot from your throwing hand. So, if you’re throwing with your right hand, you step with your left foot.