When you’re a little guy with a big, big, big brother, it doesn’t matter what that big brother does, he’s your hero. Little Alfie is so proud of Archie and can’t get enough of him. And he wants to share him. For a full year he asked me if I would ask the principal of his school if Archie and his band could sing in one of the school’s assemblies. I’m afraid I just brushed him off with a lot of, ‘Yes, one day I’ll ask’, and ‘We’ll talk about that later’, kind of replies because I didn’t want to put the principal in an awkward position and I was pretty sure she would have other educational pursuits in mind.
But Alfie wore me down. One morning when I was walking him to school he asked, ‘Can you just ask the principal this morning? Just ask her if Archie can sing in the assembly?’ And I thought I may as well get it over with; go and ask the question then we can all move on.
I left Alfie at the bottom of the stairs where he has to walk up three flights to the classroom then headed down the corridor to see if the principal was in her office. As luck would have it, there she was and her door was wide open so I took that to be a welcoming sign.
Walking in and feeling like an intruder I asked her the question Archie had been asking me. The principal’s response was overwhelmingly positive. She would love to have Alfie’s big brother perform in assembly. She would check the schedule and get back to me with when he could sing. Sorted – and so quickly too.
I thanked her very much then walked back along the corridor and passed the staircase where I’d said ‘goodbye’ to Alfie. And he was still there. ‘What are you doing?’
‘I just wanted to make sure you did ask the principal’. The dear little chap thought I might have been trying to placate him and not actually do the deed.
The next day I was told the first available assembly where Archie could perform was in two month’s time. To Alfie that was a lifetime away. But we’ve been counting down the weeks and the sleeps and finally, today was the day of the assembly.
I went along to support both my sons and saw Alfie’s teacher just before the assembly. ‘How’s Alfie been?’ I asked and you would think by now I would have learned not to ask that question especially when yesterday she had described his behaviour as ‘diabolical’.
‘He’s been excellent’, she said, ‘Because he’s so excited to have his big brother here’.
I sat at the back of the hall and Alfie was in the second row from the front, right in the centre of the stage. After being introduced by a Year 4 student, on came Archie with his band members.
Now Archie isn’t shy. And he’s full of confidence. And he just loves an audience. And off he went whipping the children up into a frenzy, stomping his feet, walking through the audience, sitting on the edge of the stage, asking them questions, taking questions from the audience, calling these little people, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’, and throwing himself all over the stage. They thought he was fantastic.
Archie had planned to sing four songs but the enthusiastic audience all asked for more so he kept going until he’d sung eight. The children all started clapping and waving their arms and stomping their feet and were so loud you could hardly hear the band. It was a huge success except the teachers were wondering how they might calm the children down before heading back into the classroom.
And Archie’s little brother never took his eyes off his big brother. He sat through the performance totally mesmerised. Yesterday he was diabolical, today he was an angel.
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