Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It Comes Around

Daughter #2 plays trumpet in her high school's marching band. She likes it--the trumpet, not the marching. If only football would die from the American educational system. Not only would we have enough money to actually educate the kids and focus on the true purpose of the public school system, but then #2 wouldn't have to put on the dorky uniform and hat and stand out in the rain every Friday night.

Actually, the uniform isn't all that bad. And being a part of something like a marching band teaches so many things that need to be part of our more intricate personal makeup--things like personal discipline, group dynamics, respect for authority, generally being "in step" with our surroundings. I don't like to be the kind of parent who says, "when I was your age.......blah blah." But really, when I was 16, marching band was the only thing that got me up in the morning. The process of putting on the funky white hat, polishing up the mellophone, and cinching up the gold belt held magic.

I'm third from the left in this fuzzy old picture. We wanted to be the Phantom Regiment so badly. We had no idea we were just kids in a tiny town in Indiana.

#2 doesn't seem to be as enthralled as I was at 16. She doesn't seem to find magic in strapping on the suspenders, zipping up the jacket, and pulling on the white gloves. I do hope, though, that when the percussion section opens up with a cadence, she can feel it beat in her heart, literally--I'm not being syrupy here. And I do hope that when she's forty something, even if she isn't still playing her horn, that she'll remember this big group and how they all work together to make a big D on the football field (while the football team charges out of a giant inflatable helmet through in a cloud of smoke--good God), and she'll go rumaging around in her photo albums for a picture of herself in her marching duds.

Well, enough sweet talk about the future. I've got a program cover to design. I think I'll look for some drum cadences on ITunes for inspiration.


Anonymous said...

ahhhhh marching band, if only every kid would be as enthusiastic about it as you were and might I add as I was as well. I remember recruters from the local CYO band coming to my school and once I heard that trumpet, I knew THAT was what I wanted to do. That was 1969 and for the next decade I was off and running going from marching band and then into Drum Corps. I loved wearing the uniform. I must have been a dork ;)


Rob said...

There's nothing like a dorky uniform to make a kid feel special. I started out on trumpet in 6th grade, but I hated it so much, I quit in 9th grade. I spent a summer on cymbals so I wouldn't miss a competition season, then finally switched to horn. What a time. ha.

adair said...

I remember coming home from college my freshman year to catch a football game/band show weekend. It felt odd to climb up all the steps to the season tickets near the press box (formerly known as "grumpy geezer gallery" and now known as "the lesser beings beneath the fancy seats"). Teachers and community friends were all waving, saying hello and asking the proverbial question, "Do you miss it?" to which I would laugh and shake my head "No!" while continuing to ascend onward. Then all of a sudden a whistle pierced and the drumline answered --- and I started crying. Big fat tears. I felt like a child, left inside, while all her friends got to go outside and play.

Anonymous said...

oh, one more comment about this... I like a woman in uniform ;)