Chiefs family photo

I hate to hope, but…(Go Chiefs!)

Back in December, Jack tried out for jazz band as a percussionist. He missed the first day of tryouts because he was working on a failed attempt at a sewing project in his FACS class (at this point, literally the week of Christmas break, he had a D in FACS. A D. Because he just couldn’t get his sewing projects turned in. Because he just couldn’t do them. If you would like to know about how he ended up with an A in the class because he finally completed an alternate project and how correspondence from his teacher during that time included the words “bless his heart”…..let me know.).

(I am queen of rabbit trails and parenthetical expressions.)


His friend Iain had tried out on the first day, and he told Jack that another 7th grader had done a good job trying out for percussion but that the 8th graders were all terrible. Therefore, Jack wasn’t worried in the least. Two percussionists are chosen for jazz band. Based on a fellow 7th grader’s expert assessment, Jack and the other 7th grade percussionist were going to get into jazz band. No problem. He was confident.

I was floored.

I am never so confident. Every single time I have ever turned in a paper or exam my whole life I have been convinced that this time, this paper, this exam would expose me for the fraud I was. 

Jack, on the other hand, doesn’t feel like a fraud at all. He isn’t annoyingly cocky (thank goodness). But he is good at drums. He knows it. The end. 

I was worried.

He was so confident. 

What if he didn’t get in? 

Would he be devastated? 

Would he be fine? 

I had a conversation with him letting him know that…you know…he might not get in. (Way to be a confidence-builder, Mom.) I acknowledged he was good. I also suggested that other kids were likely good, too. Maybe even better. I just wanted him to know that if he didn’t get in, it would be OK. Well, what I actually told him is not to bother coming home if he didn’t get in, but of course I was joking, and of course he knew it. I was just trying to introduce this idea in a lighthearted way that he might not get in but that it would be OK. 

He didn’t get the message. His heart was on the line. He really wanted to get into jazz band.
And also, h
e was still confident.

The day he was going to find out about jazz band was the last day of school before Christmas break. It was a half day. Amelie wasn’t going to pick him up from school that day because she was taking the bus with her choir to go caroling on the Plaza, so he had to take the bus home. 

As the school day wound down, I kept checking my watch. 

I was antsy. 

I will admit: I really really wanted him to get into jazz band. I just thought it would be good for him, and sure, I’m his mom, but I also know that he’s good. 

After I knew school was out, I texted him and asked him to let me know when he left school so I could gage when to get him at the bus stop. 

He said, “OK.”

Hmmmm. “He must not have gotten into jazz band,” I thought. “He would have told me! Oh no! But it’s OK. It’s OK. It’s OK.”

I tried another tactic: “How was your day?”

His response: “It was fine. It was less boring than usual because we played games and watched movies.”

“OK.” I told myself. “Well, he doesn’t sound devastated that he didn’t get in. So that’s good.”

“That’s great!” I responded.

Nothing else.

I drove to the end of our road to pick him up from the bus stop. I was nervous, really nervous. He got in the car and told me more about his day. Meanwhile, I was debating in my head how to bring up the jazz band rejection. 

We were halfway home when he turned to me and said, “Oh! Guess what? I got into jazz band.”

(And also, really?????? Could you have not told me this within 30 seconds of the bell ringing???)

I kind of hate to hope, honestly. I can’t even tell you how many conversations I have with Matt that start with the words, “I hate to hope, but……..” I’m always so afraid to put my heart on the line. I’m always convinced that there will be devastation and disappointment. It’s easier, sometimes, not to hope.
But also, it robs me of potential joy, and even, as today may prove, potential heartbreak.

Now here we are. As I write this post it’s exactly 3:30 p.m., 2 hours until the Super Bowl kickoff. 

We here in Kansas City have been waiting for a Super Bowl win for 50 years. To paraphrase someone else, “I’m 45 years old, and I have been waiting 50 years for this moment.” 

At church this morning nearly everyone was wearing red. Our family showed up in our Chiefs finest. We went to the grocery store on the way home, and everyone was wearing red and was hopeful and happy and loaded up with carts full of beer and barbecue. Someone, who shall remain nameless to protect her privacy, wears red underwear every game day, and I got a text this morning that said, “I’m ready (If you know what I mean.).”

Kansas City is ready.
We are ready.
I am ready.

I hate to hope, but………

I actually thought about having a conversation with Jack about how we will cope if we lose. 

But I decided not to. 

I don’t have Jack’s confidence. But my heart’s on the line, for this one. 

I hate to hope, but……….
I’m hoping. 

Go Chiefs! 


Leave a Comment