I'm glad I waited to tell this story because it is ever so much better because of something I learned after the initial "newsbreak."
Yesterday we received two certificates in the mail for Samuel. Back in May, Sam participated in a nationwide evaluation conducted by the Royal Academy of music. The evaulation consisted of playing two different pieces of music, playing pentascales in three keys, playing from hearing alone a brief melody based on a pentascale in one key, clapping out a rhythm that had just been played on piano, and several other points. The certificates were for best in his division for the testing center, and, better yet, best in his division in the entire state. I can't tell you how proud and pleased I am.
His teachers have, all along, told us how talented he is. Naturally teachers, especially in a subject in which parent are willingly shoveling over money, have a vested interest in making you think your child is the next Van Cliburn or Rick Wakeman. Additionally teachers are often genuinely fond of their charges and their perceptions may not be particularly accurate in this regard. To have a complete stranger evaluate him entirely on performance and have this result is deeply gratifying and strangely frightening. Frightening because such talent entails enormous responsibility on our part to nurture and cultivate it, and, of course, I haven't the foggiest notion of how to go about that. So we'll trust God.
That said, we now come to Sam's reaction. Linda was calling all and sundry and weeping copious tears of joy into their ears as she was telling them about this. I'm sure Sam asked her why she was crying and she tried to explain how proud she was. His response, "I don't see what you're so excited about. When they build me a life-size statue--that will be something for my ego!"