August 20, 2009

On that note

Quick

We’ve been to his piano recitals, where he plays classical musical in a way that’s moving -- and flawless. We’ve seen a DVD of him performing as the timpanist for an orchestra that included the best young musicians in the northeast. We watched him in the high school variety show, where he appeared on stage again and again, acting in comedy skits, doing a drum solo, and playing a stirring rendition of Clare de Lune on the piano. He’s an incredible athlete who makes dramatic throws and catches on the Ultimate Frisbee field. He’s smart: the salutatorian of our local high school. He’s good at pretty much everything.

But at the candle ceremony we held in our living room last night, the same words came up again and again: “he’s the nicest person I’ve ever met.”

It's not that the group of kids and extras who gathered for the ceremony are an overly sentimental group. In fact, the young men seem to take pleasure in insulting each other. Even gathered in a circle or the ceremony, balanced on the arms of chairs or kitchen chairs dragged over into the living area, with flames flickering from beeswax candles, they spent about half their time joking and tossing sarcastic comments across the dim-lit room.

But even a group of young men who exchange insults the way monkeys pick bugs out of each others’ scalps could say only complimentary words about Quick.

What’s especially notable about Quick is that he’s world’s nicest guy, but he’s not a pushover. He’ll always stick up for what he thinks is right. It’s a rare combination: that laidback, super-nice personality paired with real strength of character. None of us worry that he’s going to succumb to peer pressure in college: he won’t.

The candle ceremony was a send-off: Quick leaves tomorrow for college in Camera City. It’s going to be strange to have him living somewhere else. I’m used to just walking into the living room and seeing him sitting at the drums or playing a board game with With-a-Why or doing homework with Shaggy Hair Boy or throwing a disc back and forth with Boy in Black. He's part of the family, a kid who will help clean or cook, or who will sit down to play the piano whenever we need music. We’re going to miss him.

9 comments:

heidi said...

Aw. nice photo.

KathyR said...

Camera City?

.....thinking.....

Nope, still haven't got it.

jo(e) said...

It's the city where Kodak is located ....

Songbird said...

I love your candle ceremony stories. Best wishes to Quick as he goes out into the world!

YourFireAnt said...

OK, I guess this is weeping week. We're gonna get a kid a day until our hearts are ripped right out by reading your lovely blog posts.

FA

liz said...

(sniffle)

kathy a. said...

yes, best to quick!

dp said...

Been there, know how your feeling. I wish I knew your family. They all sound incredibly fun to be around.
Sent my daughter to Korea this week. Can't even blog it yet.. too hard.

Kyla said...

I love your candle ceremonies.

Good luck to Quick!