Friday, August 28, 2009
It came quickly, being the parent of a high schooler. All because of the Marching Band. They started practice at the end of July, and then went off to five days of camp. It was heart-breaking for me to drop my just out of 8th grade son off at the Big Bad High School to go and mingle with so many of those huge hairy car driving teenagers. What if they were mean to him? Band Camp lasted for five long days. He's never been away from home that long, ever. That's scary enough but when you add the complication of his severe food allergies it is downright frightening, for me. At first Tim wasn't even sure that he wanted to go but there was a lot of pressure from the band director to do this. I hoped that they would take good care of him, and parents I know of older kids who've been through band camp told me it's a great experience.
Well it just about nearly killed me when he scarcely communicated for those 5 long days, just a couple of text messages. Even Jeffrey started sending him texts that said "Call Mom!" At least I knew he was still alive. I couldn't wait to finally see him when they gave a performance at the end of camp. It was clear to me that camp was a good experience for Tim, he seemed to fit in well and was excited to have made so many friends.
It was also clear that they had been working very hard at their show, music from the movie "Mask of Zorro." I told Tim how impressed I was, and couldn't wait to see it at the first football game. Then I asked him what music they would be playing at the second home football game. I didn't realize that they only learned one set of songs for the whole season. I just don't have a clue about all this. I was never in the band, but I do remember going to watch my older sister Becky. There's so much to know!
Yesterday was the first home football game, even though school doesn't start for another week. We dropped Tim off in the band room, and then found a place to sit in the stands, and waited for the show to start! It was SO exciting to hear those drums in the distance and then get louder as they paraded around the track and finally onto the field to do their pre-game songs. I was pleasantly surprised to see them in these huge matching raincoats, and I was thrilled to spot Timmy march by with the other three baritones.
I waited patiently through the first half of the football game. When there were five minutes on the clock the band circled back around to get ready for the big Zorro halftime show. I was so excited to see these kids finally perform what they have been working so hard on all these weeks. I got my camera ready.
Then, to my frustration, the people around me started to stand up and engage in loud conversations, many of them with their backs to the field! I thought it was just so rude for them to totally discount the importance of what the kids in the band were doing out there, and also my desire to actually see and hear it. They almost made me want to learn enough about football so I could choose a critical moment to unfurl my giant golf umbrella in front of them, and then turn around and say "Oh, were you trying to watch that?"
I later learned that there is a section where all of the parents of the band sit together. The Boosters. Much better.
It really started to rain hard in the beginning of the fourth quarter, and I was glad to see the band director give the kids the signal that they were free to go. That was the sign that I needed to show that he really must care about the comfort and welfare of these children.
When we found Tim and got into the car to leave, I mentioned that it was a good thing they were excused early to get out of all that rain. Tim agreed. "Yeah, the instruments were starting to get wet, and some of those flutes cost thousands of dollars, so he told us to go in."
So I'm still a little off-key when it comes to all this Band stuff, but so far for Tim it's hitting all the right notes.
Posted by Mindy at Friday, August 28, 2009