Winston & Damman September 2018

On Your Side (810) 966-WINS (9467)

September 2018

Growing Together Watching Our Eldest Daughter Begin Her Senior Year

I still vividly remember my eldest her first day of kindergarten. Needless to say, I was a mess. I can remember crying, thinking, “How could this already be happening?” It felt like just yesterday she was a little baby keeping us up at odd hours and learning to walk and talk. daughter, Hannah, going off to her first day of preschool and eventually Fast-forward to September 2018, and that same baby is now a senior in high school, navigating her way through college applications and figuring out what she wants to do in the world. It’s been an exciting and sometimes challenging journey for Hannah, who, at 17 years old, is continually discovering her love of music. Readers of previous editions of our newsletter will remember our family’s strong ties to baseball and softball. In middle school, Hannah was a softball, basketball, and volleyball player. She was a talented pitcher, but little mistakes would bog her down, get in her head, and mess with her game. Slowly the other sports dropped off, and when she eventually told my husband and me that she wanted to quit softball, too, we pressed her to make sure that’s what she really wanted to do. She seemed sure, and soon afterward we watched her musical talents blossom. In fifth grade, Hannah started playing the trumpet, and three years later, she switched to French horn. That same year, she approached her father and me about taking vocal lessons. This threw us for a loop. But it’s a passion she wanted to follow, and as

parents, we wanted to encourage it. We would hear her sing in the shower and occasionally hear the mumbles of her voice outside of her lessons before picking her up, but it wasn’t until her first recital about a year later that we really heard her. She sang this Italian melody, and we were absolutely blown away. She had an amazing talent that we didn’t even know about. And unlike on the softball diamond, she didn’t let the little mistakes get to her. She was completely enthralled with learning more. At the end of last year, her focus on music shifted to a goal of becoming French horn section leader in the school’s band. For weeks, I remember her saying, “I just want to be section leader. Gosh, I hope the director picks me.” Finally the night came, and Hannah’s wish came true. She had been chosen to lead her section the next year — her senior year! But there was more. (And luckily, I have this part on video!) The band director began explaining how he selected the role of senior assistant drum major — a student who helps lead and conduct the band. Standing up on stage, Hannah was still beaming alongside the other section leaders, when suddenly, the director called her name. She had also been chosen as drum major! She stood in disbelief, unsure if that was really what had just happened, before making her way over to her director.

accompany her on a recent band camp and watch her develop her craft. It’s a memory of her I will always cherish, watching her and other kids like her develop their talents. As she changed into her drum major uniform — a classic white suit that offsets that band’s blue uniforms — before a recent football game, she was still shocked that she had been given this opportunity. But at that game, I saw a kid who was completely in her element. She was content and right where she should be. Just like that first game as a drum major, this year will be full of plenty of firsts and lasts for Hannah and our family. While it’s just as bittersweet as it was on that first day of school so many years ago, I’m excited to see where this ride takes her.

This summer was full of drum major training and band camps. I got to

–Nicole Winston

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