My kids have done marching band since 2006. The Queen started it and we never looked back. Last night was the Jeffco marching invitational...usually the first big show and the bell weather for the season (I think.) My job in all of this is to feed the band, staff, some parents and of course, if there is food left over...stragglers.
I am not doing this alone so don't feel sorry for me. There are two other moms that have signed on for the long haul and they are in it too. There are about 90 kids in the band, 20 staff and at least 20 parents that help every time. So if you do the math...we are feeding a bunch of folks. We plan on about 140.
Last night, we had the 8th graders that did band from the middle school to show them what a good time band is...so add another 30.
We fed them and they loved it. Spaghetti, meatballs, bread, salad...desserts and drinks. They even had carne asada from a wonderful parent if the Italian fare wasn't good enough. Definitely better than I feed my family at home. It was exhausting to heat everything up in a parking lot and put it out for these kids.
Then, if that wasn't enough, when a marching band is competing, there is an element of class that needs to be shown. It comes in the form of hair up, shoes shined, everyone looking crisp and the same. With another group of parents, we got on our knees and shined shoes. Then, we wandered around with bobby pins and put hair up. I threatened a few boys to bring the clippers next competition.
They played their warm ups and sounded beautiful. I couldn't get enough of my son...honestly I love this kid so much. So proud and excited for him.
|Howie is the first tuba|
Guess what? They went out on the field and left it there. They sounded amazing, looked great and won the class they were in. They were humbled and stunned because they haven't won in a while.
Here's the thing...as they were going through the line for dinner, kid after kid thanked me...
"Thanks for feeding us, Mrs. Ritter", I heard over and over again. As I was on my knees, shining shoes and behind them, touching their shoulders, pinning stray hair up...I felt like I was meant to be part of this...at this time in my life, this is my mission, ministry and validation that humans are good. Then as I followed them around with water, before the contest and then after..."wow, water, thanks so much, Mrs. Ritter", I heard over and over.
I felt exhausted by all the work but also so fulfilled by the work that was done and the kindness that was shown by these teenagers... the sweet acknowledgement of service and time spent on them. I felt very blessed and humbled by the kids and their thankfulness...it was a great feeling.
They won and I won. I got to take care of them, love them and connect on a level that makes me happy. I understand now that I do this for exactly that reason. Sometimes, we get glimpses of what life is about in the most interesting places...last night, as I was on my knees, shining shoes...I got a glimpse.
If these kids don't win another thing, I am proud to be helping them become who they are and who and what they are to become.
Hey Lobo Regiment, thanks for the wonderful night and the amazing show. You guys deserved first and it was a blast to be there with you. Here's to more of that!
We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,
(AKA: Mrs. Ritter)