The first Friday in August, since 2006, one or more of my children would begin band camp. In 2006, I dropped off the Queen at the high school at 9 am and told her I didn't want her doing this...I didn't want her to be in marching band. I told her it would take too much time, and I didn't think it was worth it. When I picked her up that afternoon, she was so excited that she was part of that group and off we went. In 2010, she was in front of the band...leading them. She marched for all four years of high school and is a senior in college and is planning on marching there this year too.
My middle son was a harder sell. I remember my daughter talking to him on that first Friday of August in 2008 about how fun it was going to be. He was very sceptical and told her so. They left the house with her saying, "Okay, if you don't love it after today, I will let you quit." Well, you guessed it...he was all in after day one. He too, marched his whole high school career, tried out for Drum Major and is still marching in college. He just loves the social aspect and playing his instrument.
My youngest son, as you probably know, marched the Tuba last year and I was over the moon. He was so impressive in his uniform with that shiny instrument on his shoulder. It was a great season for me...
By last season, my husband was pulling the band trailer full of instruments to competitions and I was feeding the masses with my committee. We, my husband and I, were all in and because I was so busy being all in...I didn't notice that my youngest son...wasn't.
He's really not a complainer and he worked hard and showed up for all that he needed to. I was convinced in my mind that he was like his sister and brother...a real musician at heart and marching band was one way to express that.
The third week of June is the first taste of band camp for the upcoming school year. I got a phone call from him after about day 2 of camp..."Ma, I wanna quit band and I am going right now to talk to the director." I put him off saying he needed to come home and talk to me about it and that I didn't understand...
He came home and we sat down on the couch in the living room and he explained why. He had valid reasons and he was interested in trying new things and taking harder classes and things like that. Because I love band so much and watching my kids play music, I was categorically against it. He was staying in band and that was that. He went the next day and didn't mention it again. I was so relieved that "he" decided he would stay...
The next day, he came to me again and said he really didn't want to do band his junior year. He wanted to play baseball, take up golf, work on the truck with his father and do other things, I finally listened. He wanted to be his own person and he has been trying to differentiate himself from his siblings without a fuss. Since I can't deal well with change, I wanted him in the mold of the last two. No changing and being himself here...
Well, today is the beginning of band camp for the school year...and guess who is still in bed. My other two would have been leaving the house about now, so excited about marching another year. They would have come home sun burnt and fall asleep on the couch from being on their feet, in the sun, marching and learning a lot of new info. I would have woken them up for dinner and heard the whole day...the music, the show, the people in their section, who can march and who needs work and how the year was going to be.
This year is going to be different though. I will not be planning menus to feed 140, being on call all of August so I could not be on call in September and October...
It's okay though...really. Am I going to miss the work? Sure I will and I will miss the kids...but I also have to hand it to my son for pushing the point and letting my know who he is. I am not an easy person to go against and I heard that time and time again when I told other parents that my boy wasn't in band this year. "That must have been really hard for your son to tell you" they said. "You love band and he must have really been worried about what you would think."
I guess I was a lunatic at times. But I was so proud of the hard work that the kids do. And, if you ever see your kid march a show in competition, see them come off the field with a gleam in their eye and the confidence that they did the very best they could, you understand what I mean.
Here's the thing, I got the privilege of that feeling for 7 years and it never got old. Never...Sometimes, I would cry from the intensity of the feelings of pride for the kids...it moved me that much.
But, it's really okay and actually, it is gonna be good. I am going to get to spend more time with my boy one on one. I did all that volunteering so that I could spend time with my kids and rarely did I spend but a minute or two with them. It was spent on the whole gang, and the other parents. I have to admit, it was a very social time for me.
So today, I will let him sleep in, and make pancakes for him
when he gets up and we will talk about the plans of the day. There are things he has to do...things to take care of, like summer homework, changing his schedule at high school to another class and figuring out fall baseball season.
I guess what I am saying is, if he is at peace with this change then I need to be too. But, for anyone who knows me...I have to work on it.
Life is funny isn't it? I deal with dying folks and people who are looking at time in days or hours or even minutes and I am worrying about my son's social life or maybe I am more worried about mine...
I guess I am a lunatic, huh?
We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,