My band tolerance is a struggle after these past three days. Some egos are benefiting from three nonstop days of grandmother obligation, and mine isn't one.
Saturday there was a band show, about ten bands, performing their hearts out. I saw one, in year one. I get it, and will be the cheerful front end runner; delivery only, no pick up. (Joe’s mom dropped Emily at 11:30 p.m. Saturday night, after the show.)
There were two unscheduled, until last Wednesday, shows the last two days. The first, on The Green on Sunday had meeting instructions intelligible only to a long time Hudson resident. Similarly to the Williamsburg trip this past spring, “Everyone knows.” It required four emails to get correct directions.
I spent almost four hours in the parking lot waiting for the band to march back from The Green. In truth, only the one third of the band that actually performed. More on that later.
Finally, I got up before six this morning to deliver my two band members to the school to perform at eight for the new teacher orientation. There are more than three hundred members of this band. I watched fewer than fifty be dropped at the curb; the rest parked their big cars and went in.
Driving Emily and Joe back home this morning, so I could actually go to work, I listened to their list of who will not be on the bus when school starts on Wednesday, because driver’s licenses have been obtained. No need to flog this subject again; these children do not need to be driving cars for other children to jump on hoods and trunks.
Emily already floated the learner’s permit idea to adult family and friends, hoping to drum up support. It was a tactical error in several ways, not the least the unabashed attempt to end run grandma. It called forth my best “play the hand you’re dealt” soliloquy, which does not include a car.
The little mini-band performance I chauffeured Sunday evening was another revelation. Looking around the assembled players I recognized many section leaders, not much else. I asked Emily later if her presence had been required. No, she was there “to help the band.” Further drilling revealed only section leaders and the drum line was required to perform Sunday. Between the lines I saw she intends to be a section leader next year. Perhaps with enough responsibility to require a car.
Will being a section leader change your band grade? No. Will being a section leader get you a scholarship in chemistry, biology or engineering? No.
Perhaps it’s good to aspire to being a section leader, but I doubt it. No grandma I know will put in the extra hours and car expense.
I asked who came to the mini band show Sunday night. Some old people, some band parents and some people who were high school seniors during her last two years. I was stunned. Do they have a life? Or will they just become more band parents.