My middle daughter was born at 26 weeks. Can you imagine? She weighed less than a pound and spent a lengthy four months in the nicu. She has struggled all of her life to play catch up. Ieps, title classes, speech therapy. you name it she has been in it. So it’s safe to say she struggles. Reading by far the hardest for her to accomplish. She now has been diagnosed with a basic reading disability. When she came to me wanting to play in the band I must admit I discouraged it somewhat. I had 3 kids in band and knew what was expected and I thought it would be overwhelming for her. To my surprise she flourished. Sitting in the second chair out of over a dozen clarinet players. I of course attend all the kids functions humanly possible missing only a handful for work or health reasons only. This week, yesterday was Clare’s last concert performance of the year. She can tend to be one of the quieter more shy kids and often doesn’t find a way to shine above the others. Now she is the only kid left in band. I was so excited to be there for her and support her. When the flyer came home I eagerly asked Marc to come. He agreed instantly. I don’t think he’d missed it for anything outside of work either to be honest. He showers us with so much love and attention I can’t imagine even work making him miss something important for one of us. On Mother’s Day I excited asked Marc to invite his family. I wasn’t sure if they would be able to make it. His father still works and I wasn’t sure the schedule and his mom’s health isn’t the greatest. I heard back the night prior that they would be in attendance. I thought I would let them surprise Clare. Normally I would refrain from telling her who was coming because I was not ever sure who would really show up for her. This wasn’t the case yesterday as I knew Marc and his family would not ever let us down. I normally pace and watch the door hoping and praying not to be let down and get let down anyway. This time I was watching in pure excitement. I had no fear of that let down just anticipation for them to arrive and share the experience with us. I arrived to the school 45 mins early to acquire those front row seats I had to have. Clare’s face light up when Marc’s parents took their seats next to us. She cheesed so big at our applause. I knew she felt special. I knew her heart was full of the love and attention she was given. Mine was bursting. Each time Marc would rub down my arm and hold my hand I beamed. My smile made my face begin to hurt. I was just so happy sitting in those awful hard seats in that humid gymnasium. Clare performed perfectly. I could not have been more proud of her. I hollered her name in praise a few times. I got huge hugs upon departing and Clare was giving away hugs cheerfully. I have a family guys…. One that TRULY LOVES US!