Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Seeing Pure Pride and Joy
This picture probably best represents Great Happiness, but not Pure Joy and Pride. Pure Joy is the next step up from Great Happiness, and Pure Joy and Pride is the ultimate.
My mother has a brilliant photo of Thing One, aged about two. In it, he is pointing to something off camera, but his face is one of Pure Joy. What, pray tell, did he happen to spot? It was a DLR train coming down the track. Any parent of a two-year-old boy will understand why such a sight would provoke a look of Pure Joy.
Today, I got to see the ultimate expression: Pure Joy and Pride. Thing One, who has been taking cello lessons for almost two years, took his cello exam on Monday. Here in the United Kingdom, people who are studying musical instruments occasionally take exams. Each exam is a "Grade", starting with Grade 1, and going up to Grade 8. The students are graded by an independent judge, who compiles the score and then determines if it's a pass or a fail. This is all very official and systematic, unlike the system I grew up with, where you practiced when nagged, had a weekly lesson, and then finally abandoned all efforts once you discover boys (or girls, as the case may be).
Thing One had been waiting to see if he had passed since Monday. He was as cool as a cucumber leading up to the test, professing that he wasn't nervous. Upon leaving the examination room, he declared that he had done "brilliantly." But he was still waiting for the official word.
Today, he got it: He passed.
Thing One ran out of the school doors with the biggest smile of pride and joy you could ever imagine. He was justifiably proud of his accomplishment, which was entirely his. Once we shared a (very long) celebratory hug, he ran around the playground, looking for his friends to tell him the good news.
I'm just sorry that I didn't think to take a picture of it. Pure Pride and Joy doesn't come along nearly enough in life.