“Momma, I have to go potty!” – The words every mother is used to hearing from their toddler at least ten times a day. So why was it any different for this mom today? Because my beautiful daughter spoke them at the exact time that Doc Severinsen was playing two octave arpeggios on my custom Shires trumpet at the National Trumpet Competition in Fairfax, VA. The gracious octogenarian could not have been kinder to my children this afternoon. In the hospitality room, he thoughtfully brought my daughter a plate of pasta, and offered to do the same for my son when I reminded my 11-year-old that he owned two perfectly healthy legs that were capable of carrying his 100 pounds to the food table. The four of us sat and ate and chatted about the trumpet while Doc tried his best to get my little girl to give up her single dimpled smile. In typical 3-year-old fashion, she shyly buried her face in my shoulder after every one of his attempts, secretly smiling away in my blue shirt.
As a trumpet player, I look forward to seeing fellow trumpet players from all over the country gathered in one place. In the sound room, representatives from various instrument companies stood behind their goods as students, teachers and professionals of all levels walked through, stopping occasionally to try this horn or that one. Mouthpieces to mutes, everything is represented. Strolling through the room after lunch, I was making my way to the Shires booth when my daughter got that grimace on her face that every mother recognizes to only mean one thing: She’s gonna hurl! It took me a second, but I put my hand under her chin, and ran to the service hall as fast as I could. I felt like I was moving in slo-mo as the doors closed behind me, and my cupped hand filled with the warmth of what just moments earlier had been the contents of her stomach. At least there were students in the hall testing some trumpets as my filmstrip played out right in front of them! Daughter in tears, both of our clothes sporting the fragrance of “Eau de Emesis”, my son assisted me in getting her to the nearest bathroom to begin the clean up process. Awesome. I got myself as presentable as possible, then went back out to explain the situation to the instrument company that is so professionally assisting me with my career. I said goodbye to those with whom I’d planned to spend the afternoon and returned to the bathroom. I found my son sitting in the corner, on my trumpet, as my daughter innocently played in the sink. After I’d given him the “how ya doin'” for using it for a chair, I quickly checked the trumpet for damage. Finding none, I wrapped my daughter’s coat in paper towels, then proceeded to the exit and the parking lot to return home earlier than planned.
So why do I write about this today? Because some days, no matter what our intentions, we have no idea what will come from one hour to the next. One moment, you’re having lunch with Doc Severinsen, and the next, you’re trying to keep your child from projectile vomiting over thousands of dollars worth of brass instruments and accessories. What a wild life we juggle as parents and professionals! Play on, friends, and always keep a change of clothes for your toddler AND yourself in your car. Hey, you just never know…The bright side: an early day in your jammies on the sofa watching movies with the kids is beautiful. Life is great!