"Guess what I'm doing on Friday," Tyce said at dinner one night.
"What?" we all asked.
"I'm singing the National Anthem at the pep rally. In front of the whole school."
"Mom, don't come, okay? I don't want to be nervous." (Translation: I don't want you to embarrass me.)
"What would I ever do to make you nervous, wittle snookie plum? Here, let me wipe that butter off of your cheek. You want to look your best for when you sing in front of 1000 people."
As the twins and I drove to the junior high, I decided to sing the National Anthem myself. I started, "O-o-o-oh say can you seeeeeee! By the dawn's early light!" By the time I got to "and the rocket's red glare!" I was in the stratosphere of my range and started coughing.
I said a silent prayer for Tyce.
As the junior high kids filed in to the bleachers the band played, the basketball teams practiced their lay-ups and free-throwing, the cheerleaders shook their pom-poms, and the mascot ran around jazzing up the crowd. (Cameron and Harrison thought the brown bear was THE coolest part of the event and couldn't believe when he--the bear!--took his place in the drum line.)
The student body president began the program by saying: "Please rise for the National Anthem, sung by Tyce Jones."
He left his place in the band and went to the microphone. Everyone was silent, except for the 3-foot-tall twins who whisper-shouted, "I can't see him! Where is he?"
Tyce sang a capella. He hit all the notes with strength and confidence. He was pitch-perfect. I couldn't stop smiling at him. He was AWESOME!
(And I'd say that even if I weren't his mom.)
Afterward, a ton of kids said things like, "Good job, Tyce," and "Man, you are brave," and one boy asked for his autograph.
Maybe I should have asked for his autograph too?
He truly has a beautiful voice and I'm so pleased that he is willing to share it with others.
P.S. Props to Quinton Robbins, Tori Foutz, and Hailey Foster for their mad basketball skillz. Go Bears!