Last night was the annual potluck supper for the music program at the high school. Since #1 son is graduating and he’s my only #1 son, it was my last one. The seniors handed out yellow roses to all of the parents to say thank you for supporting them throughout the years. The music program here in our little town is rigorous and demanding. It requires many hours of lessons, practice, rehearsals, and concerts. For the parents, there have been times when we were frustrated because our student wouldn’t practice, tired from concerts that ran late into the night, weary from driving them here then there then back to here, worried about scraping up money for new instruments, new music, new suits, dry cleaning, and band trips, or resentful of the way it dominates our lives. The rose is nice (and let me tell you, it was truly something to have my son hand it to me, hug me, and tell me he loves me–in public), but what makes it all worth while for me is seeing these young men and women share the joy and passion of music together, to witness their growth as individuals and as a group, and to know that they have had a unique and deeply meaningful experience in a music program that has shaped them into leaders that we can count on in the future. In fact, I wonder if we shouldn’t be thanking them.