(Lars) #1

I started to think of my lapse as “The Big
Skip.”IlaughedwhenIcalleditthattomy
music teacher.
Shewasverynice.“Itmaynothave
beennoticedbysomeonewhodoesn’tknow
Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria.’ Your movement was
smooth. You didn’t fall apart. All in all, a
worthwhile experience.”
She sounded just like Daddy. In fact, he
had only seen me, not heard me. The Lincoln
television store had closed and only showed a
muted KMTV in the window display. Daddy
had imagined a lovely, complete piece.
IwasverygladIhadn’tspreadtheword
of my appearance. I
would avoid sympathy or
scorn.
At recess the next day,
Chad Larson came up to
me. The boys called him
“Crybaby” because tears
came quickly after some
disappointment or other.
Then he would get angry.
Everyone left him alone.
What did he want?
“I saw you on TV,”
he said.
Uh-oh. My failure
was about to be broadcast
to my classmates. The
humiliationIdreaded
would follow. I gulped.
ButbeforeIcould
defend myself or apolo-
gize for my performance,


he continued, “You should’ve told people you
were going to be on. You were good.”
His generosity touched me. Almost
shocked me. He knew otherwise. He played
piano. We had the same teacher. I had heard
himinrecitals,severallevelshigherthanmine.
I had a flash realization. Chad also knew
how it felt to be mocked.
I got some poise, humor, and self-knowledge
from the experience onTalent Sprouts.But
from Chad’s words I got more than I would
have from perfect playing or winning the
competition.
Kindness,liketalent,beginswithsprouts.

WOO-HOO! THAT WAS FUN! HOW DID WE DO? (HUFF PUFF) ARE WE GOING
ON TV?

I’M NOT SURE THE WORLD’S READY FOR
“COMPOST: A DANCE WITH TWO SHOVELS.”