The beat of the band


This week my two oldest children are participating in the time-honored tradition known as band camp at our local high school.

They will be learning the majority of this year’s marching routine.  My oldest will be learning music and drill (where to be on the field) for his final time.  My daughter will be learning choreography, a flag routine, and drill for the first time.

As a mom, I am so excited about the memories these two will be building together.

Many years ago, I participated in the color guard at our high school as well.  My older sister entered the program first, and like so many other stages in life, I followed her.

Some of my fondest high school memories are of events that took place during that season each school year.

Like most organized activities, the marching band has a magic all it’s own.  There is something very special about the friendships that will be formed this week.

Over 120 high school students will come together to create one program.  By the end of the season, they will each know their place on the field to help tell the story, but this week, they will make many mistakes, probably run into each other, and start with a bunch of chaos.

When my oldest was signing up for classes as a freshman, I strongly encouraged him to try marching.  He was not sure he would be interested, but I told him to try it for one year, and that if he hated it, then I would not ask him to do it again.

Four years later, he’s still there.

The bond that is built this week is like no other in the school.  All across sports teams and activities, the teams are broken apart by grade levels.  Freshman, Sophomore, Varsity.

In the band world, there is only one band.

My daughter will begin the school year being on a first name, if not close friend level, with 120+ students from all grade levels in the school.

They will have inside jokes, stories, and a history before the school year even starts.

When performance time comes, for the first time the two of them will share a field.

With my son, I am attempting to savor each step along the way, as they are on the cycle of his lasts.

For my daughter, we are looking ahead to the next four years and what they will hold for her.

High school is such a fun time, where memories are made.  It is also a fleeting time.

I want all of my kids to understand that high school is not the “Best Four Years of Your Life,” no matter who says it is.  High school is a stage in your life, but not all of it.

I am 20 years out this year, and I have to say, who I was then and who I am now are not the same person at all.

With the exception of a few close friends, I don’t spend that much time thinking about who I was then, who was popular, or who didn’t like me.

My husband went to the same school, a few years behind me and I did not know him at all.  I often joke that had we met then, we most likely would not have liked each other very much.

Memories are made, friendships are formed, nothing lasts forever.  These are the messages that I want my high schoolers and all high schoolers to understand.

As adults, let’s remove some of the pressure and just let them be kids, they have the rest of their lives to grow up and be adults.

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