In 2016, my daughter came to me and said, "Mom, I'm going to join the marching band."
And I panicked. Because being a band parent was a great unknown thing.
And it was a lot of work. I volunteered a lot of time.
And I wouldn't change a thing.
I want to share some of my favorite memories, moments of the past that I will forever remember.
From the very beginning, I was part of the pit crew. I have no idea how many times I ran on and off the field, carrying or pulling something. My favorite moments of pit crew are mainly the quiet moments, standing in line waiting to go on the field, chatting with other parents or just being in the moment of music and cheering in the background. I loved when the pit crew route let us follow the band through warm ups. I loved puling the props through the underbelly of Lucas Oil Stadium. When the band members were in charge of the clocks in The Witching Hour and I found myself in the stands...I missed being on the field. I missed the adrenaline, watching the performance from the track, and the fun of being a part of the crew. Maybe the view is better from the stands, but I'll take the track spot every time.
Chaperoning the bus. I rode the bus a lot, from the very first year of being a band parent through last year. People looked at me like I was nuts, but I'll never forget all the conversations, all the laughter, all the musicians and guard members I got to know. The call of "We're turning left!" every time we headed to a competition will echo in my mind forever. I loved standing up and announcing that it's time to call roll and "give me a loud sound when I call your name". I will forever smile when I remember all the responses, from strange noises, to "I love you", to the people who just screamed my name back at me. A highlight of each week. I knew every band member by name. This year I don't, and that makes me sad.
In 2018, for The Witching Hour, I was pulled into the world of decorating, and that theme will always be my favorite. It began with painting clocks at my house, which was way too much fun. Look at Sarah go.
If you know me, you know I like creepy and weird and fantastical, so I took The Witching Hour theme and ran with it. We all did. The great group of decorators transformed the band room that year with faeries and twisted trees and eyeballs...a graveyard for those who we faced in competition, a giant witch, and a great glittery eyeball. Those Thursday nights hold great times.
Stretching our creative muscles was so much fun. This theme will forever live in my heart. I always stayed after practice on those Thursdays to witness the looks of delight on everyone's faces when they entered the band room and saw the changes. And the guard from that show will always be my faeries.
Maybe seeing my daughter play a solo at state finals also rates at the top of everything.
With room decorations that year, I also became part of a locker decorating duo. Nicole and I thought up slogans and images and took turns drawing what we called print sheets for each other. There was glitter. There was much excitement to hang them on lockers. I will especially miss the late night meetings in the school parking lot to exchange all the papers and ideas. I loved entering the school with my bag full of decorations and tape, and having all the band members rush over to me to see the newest adornment.
Of course, we continued to create band room and locker fun for A Thousand Cranes in 2019. As much as that theme was a bit tricky to work with, we had a blast and came up with some great ideas. Including...yes, there were one thousand folded paper cranes in that room.
And origami paper was fun inspiration for the locker decorations! So much folding. Drawing so many cranes. Painting cranes. Putting cranes on strings and hanging them. Cranes. Cranes. And Cranes.
And Nicole is going to need a new partner in locker decorating crime. Just be sure you are not allergic to glitter.
One of maybe the simplest, but most memorable moments I'll remember forever, is going to practices. Watching. Listening. Witnessing the work the band does to learn the show, to perfect each move. I got to know the show pretty well by the end of the season and would hum the music well into December. And the band members knew me, waving and calling out to me as I sat in the stands.
I'll miss so many things. But I'm so grateful for my time as a band parent. I'm so glad of all the memories I get to keep.
The 2020 season is done, though it never really got started. My time as a band parent is over. I gave it my all and now pass on the joyous responsibility to those remaining. I had my chance, giving what I could, sharing my talents, and making the band seasons as good as I could. To all the parents still giving their time and talents, as you're making the band seasons as good as you can, find the moments to treasure.
I've had a fantastic time writing down all my thoughts and stories. It has been an honor to blog for the Spirit of Woodlan, one of the finest bands in the state. Thank you to all who have expressed their enjoyment of what I write. I will probably be back for a couple more posts, but my time here is coming to a close.
I would love someone to take up the blog, make it their own, and have a great time. Consider it. Consider all the ways you can help the band and make memories of your own.