A stinky, disgusting, honor, but still.
And now you know...the REST OF THE STORY. Sort of.

Just be okay.

This afternoon I drove across town to attend a mandatory parent's meeting for the honor band that Max is participating in. Honor band is sort of like a school band, minus the school. It's a pretty sweet deal, especially for a homeschooled kid. Music nerds, unite!

Most of the meeting went over various fundraising opportunities (as if anyone actually think of these as "opportunities." If we were to extend this use of the word, we would have to talk about root canal opportunities and tax bill opportunities too, people). Toward the end, the subject changed to the requirements needed to move up to the next level. This touched off an unprecedented level of parental sharing.

One mom piped up, "I'm CERTAIN that my daughter is ready for intermediate band. CERTAIN. Who do I talk to?"

"I KNOW," another mom broke in, "my daughter was ready in the middle of last semester. Seriously. I don't want her BORED, you know? We deal with that enough in school."

"My son auditioned for advanced band, and he was placed in SYMPHONIC band," a dad shared. "We were...well, not SURPRISED, but happy!"

And so it went for a while. 

I listened, but only with half attention. Max is in beginning band, and I don't really know if he's ready for intermediate. Don't really care. He and his teachers will work that out, I suppose. And eventually he'll move up, but from my position it sounds pretty much the same. Unaccompanied saxophone squawks do not really enchant at either beginning or intermediate levels. 

It may not sound like it, but I'm not actually judging these proud parents. The truth is, I'm lucky. I know it doesn't matter which band Max is in, because I know his achievement is not a measure of his worth. Tomorrow I take him to the Children's Hospital for an EEG to figure out if the...episodes of weirdness he's been experiencing are seizures. I've been studiously avoiding Dr. Google, for obvious reasons, and steadfastly refusing to think about it until we have some actual information. 

But I can't help this: I look at him when he's not watching, and hope so hard that he's okay that I forget to breathe for a moment. And I don't care if he ever plays in intermediate or advanced or any band at all. I just want him to be Max. To be okay, and to be Max. He's the only one who can swing that, after all.

I think about a dear friend's child, as bright and accomplished and beautiful as any parent could hope for, who is basically fighting for her life tonight. I don't care what she ever accomplishes ever again. Be okay. Be your precious self.

I know I've been the other parent before, it's too easy. I've slid my children's talents and abilities on like they were my own to wear. I've turned, just so, to be sure others could see and admire (no one does, not really, you know). I've forgotten the truth underneath what they can do.

Move up to the next level or don't. Play your saxophone, play your flute, play whatever lights you up inside. Find your way and please. Oh please. Just be okay.


Joshilyn Jackson

Hey rabbit. I am praying for good definitive and relaxing answers from the doctors.


I love how you write and lurk around to learn about mothering from a master. I have no meaningful encouragement today (I'm a stranger after all) so will pray for Max and you during this frightening time.


So wonderful. Such a wonderful thing to want for your children. I've always said that I just wanted my kids to be happy, but I'm thinking that just being "okay" is better. It's better because being okay means you are there to be happy or sad or angry or sleepy or brilliant or belligerent, even.

I'm with Melinda, as a stranger I really have nothing to say except to tell you that I'm praying right along with you that Max is okay. That you are okay.


I will be sending good thoughts out into the universe for Max and your family.


Love you. So much.


Sometimes people do actually care. I am always happy to hear about kids' accomplishments and I like chatty holiday letters, too!

I have been through the possible seizure/EEG/MRI gauntlet and it was not pleasant at all. Having more information and being able to put words to what was going on helped. Good wishes to Max and to your whole family during this difficult time.


Oh Kira, I'm so sorry. Prayers and good wishes heading toward all of you from Arizona. We love you all.


Praying for Max and your friend's daughter. Hoping the docs know exactly what's going on with him.


Love this post & I so needed it today. "Just be ok" is awesome. My daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy, and now (at age 15) has out grown it. I just mentioned that because I remember the initial weird episodes & testing. That was a difficult, stressful time, but thankfully we had a treatable diagnosis. Thinking of you.


Oh my god, I'm sobbing. Good luck to you and Max tomorrow, and to your friend and her daughter too.

Jill W.

Prayers for you and the beautiful Max. And also for your friend and her daughter.


I just ask that God's peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I pray that Max will be well and that he will be well.


Wishing you and your friend much comfort and wisdom today.


Do let us know. Even us usually invisible ones are hoping and praying for you and yours.


When I was in high school I had some weird episodes, and after a CT scan, an EEG, and an MRI, my doctor said, "oh hey, why don't we do a glucose test on her to see if she is diabetic". Turns out, my weird episodes were due to hypoglycemia. Here's hoping for the very best results from the doctor!

Also, you and your family are in my thoughts...as someone who suffered a brain injury at an early age and still suffers from the results of said injury, I know that anything related to the brain is scary.


Oh my, you always make me cry. Keeping your family and your friends in our thoughts. Virtual hugs!


What an excellent mother Max has. You'll both be in my prayers.


Beautiful post. I'll keep Max and your friend's daughter in my thoughts tonight.


My son has suffered from seizures since he was 7, now 14. and, he is totally o.k. it has been scary sometimes (to say the least), but my mantra is "don't worry". You will all be ok, no matter what. (also a longtime lurker, never commented before)

Julie in Austin (just moved to CO)

My prayers are with you and your original and unique Max. Hang in there, strong Mama! You are both lucky to have each other!


I've been down this particular road before and the child in question DID turn out to be okay. Praying for you and Max, and for your friend's daughter.


We're all waiting anxiously for some news. With you at the top of our prayer list.
Just OK is always good enough in my book!
Hang in there-


Praying for you and Max, and for your friend and her daughter, and for anybody else who needs it right now.


Praying right now that Max is doing ok. And just wanted to say thank you. I was going through one of those parenting "moments" yesterday. My teen did not do as well on a standardized test as I thought he would/should. And it REALLY bothered me. And then I read your post. And thought about my pastor's son who is currently fighting....something. They think aplastic anemia but don't really know. And I got to school today and found out that the father of one of my students died yesterday - tragically, unexpectedly. And you know what? My kid IS ok. He has friends, and decent grades, and is involved in Robotics and ROTC so has great mentors in his life. So really, the importance of that one silly test is pretty far down the list. He is a good person. I needed to be reminded that my focus should be on that.


Oh God, I hope he's okay. Praying for all of you.

Alison C

Coming to this a bit late. I am hoping all is OK with Max


And we're all wishing with you. Be okay, Max.

Jilly Jill

Praying for all of you & your friends family! Love you all!

Katie in CA

Good thoughts your way. My hubby was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 15, and he is just fine. Hopefully it isnt that, but the medicine today is so much better. Max will be okay.

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