Hey, Man…I’m With the Band

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Let me start this post off by saying that in high school, I was not in band. I hung around with a lot of band kids and they seemed to have a great time.  A lot of them were and are still very cool and I remain friends with them today. I didn’t know many of their parents though, so take this with a grain of salt.

That being said, I do not remember high school band parents being a particularly cool lot of folks.   Kids who are in band are referred to as “band geeks” (pretty much for a reason) and their parents were just older versions of band geeks.  Or were they…?

My daughter has been in band since elementary school and due to that perception of the band population as a whole, I never really got involved in it.  Last summer, she moved up to the high school and had to go to daily band “camp” over the summer.  I was only working part time then, so I volunteered to serve snacks to the kids one afternoon.  I also checked off a lot of boxes on the volunteer survey at band orientation, figuring I’d get a couple of additional gigs as a volunteer.  I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to it, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to be involved in something with Liz.

At band camp, I met a few moms who, little did I know at the time, are waaaay involved in band (read: they pretty much support the entire volunteer program).  They were very welcoming and friendly.  Before I knew it, I was signed up to do two other things…things that required meetings.  Ugh.  I hate meetings.  Again…all for my kid.

Meetings turned into more volunteering.  Volunteering turned into co-chairing an activity committee…which turned into more volunteering…which turned into volunteering for a board position…which turned into being nominated for Vice President of the Band Parents’ Association.

Wait, what??   How the hell did that happen!!???

So, now right now I’m the V.P. and serve as fundraising chairperson.  This month, I have about 6 meetings as we get ready for marching season.  I am so busy sometimes, my head spins.  But I’m having a BLAST!  The best part is that I discovered the other parents are COOL!!

The more I get to know these ladies, the more fun they are.  We have meetings over beers at a sports bar.  We planned to go see “Magic Mike” as a group and when that fell through, we planned a private screening at my house (naturally).  Last weekend, we had a pool party for the kids.  The moms, most of whom are fellow board members, sat in the pavilion, laughing, singing and dancing as loudly and badly as we could manage.  Afterward, I realized that not only did the kids have fun, but I had a really good time too.

So, here’s the question, at what point did things change, or did they?  Is this what I’ve been missing or is this group of people just an exceptional group?

I think it might be a little of both.  🙂

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7 responses »

  1. You said it yourself, as a kid, you didn’t get to know the band parents. If the band kids you hung around with were cool, the parents probably were too. But you were a kid. You weren’t really paying attention to the parents. Now as an adult, you’re focusing in on parents because you are one. I don’t think things have changed much. I think you have. You are now an adult band parent.
    Glad you are having fun!

  2. I think it’s a great story and a great example of how we just never know about people until we get to know them. We make so many assumptions about people and I love how you broke through those assumptions and found something great! Thanks for sharing!

  3. My Dad was very involved with the “Band Parents” when I was in the marching band in school. All the other kids actually LIKED him and thought he was cool! I mean, they were afraid to screw up when he was chaperoning a band trip, but he was still a “cool dad” in their eyes. Because of my Dad’s involvement and the friendships he made with the other parents, I got to know the other parents that were in the Band Boosters as well; they were all pretty cool, too. They were the adults we kids went to when we couldn’t talk to our own parents about some “stuff” (read high school dating issues with other band geeks, etc). Then, I think because I saw how the other kids appreciated my Dad and how they were able to confide in him, I was able to talk to him; I mean REALLY talk to him about ANYTHING. Now that he has been gone for almost 26 years, those are the memories I treasure…chatting with him about my most profound (albeit high school) thoughts. So glad that you got involved and are enjoying the experience!

    • You know, I think kids like having other grown-ups to talk to. Being a kid, especially a teenager, is scary. They need the supervision and guidance and they know it. My mom was always there for my friends and I try to be the same way with my kids’ friends.

      My daughter was disappointed that I was chaperoning the pool party. Once she discovered that I wasn’t going to hover with my arms folded, she forgot I was even there. It was fun watching her interact with her friends. I hope they get to know me as a “cool” mom too.

  4. Around these parts of the woods, Bethel Park Pennsylvania, the band is the coolest thing to be a part of. It is amazing how the perception of “geekness” has turned into coolness. The parents and kids are totally amazing and are a great group of people to hang with. I don’t even have any children in the band, but still see all of them around for every event in the community. Good job in making things happen in your schools with the band. BTW: I don’t ever remember you being cool in high school. Just kidding!!!!

    • I was NEVER cool. If I gave that impression, I was delusional (and probably drunk!) I was fortunate to have a diversified group of friends, none of whom I really fit in with, but who accepted me nonetheless. Some of you guys even turned out pretty cool yourselves. 😉

      P.S. I still have those speakers if you’ve still got food stamps.

  5. Pingback: Diet: Week 5 – Lost 10 lbs!! « uniqueweirdness

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