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Friday, November 21, 2014

Will they never lose?


The football team played every game this season, as is expected, and the band played every half time, in support of the team. And the parents and grandparent of the very few band members and football players without personal transport have made every pickup and delivery of those select few. The drill has been in effect since the last week of July, in fact, when the well organized parents of both kinds of player began their annual ritual of living vicariously.

Now it is the end of the third week of November and no, it has not ended. For the first time in longer than I can be bothered to look up, the football team is undefeated. An interview with the coach made the top half of the first page of the local paper. He’s proud of his “guys,” citing names and statistics so far back that only football parents emerged with eyes unglazed.

The season ending so gloriously, what next? Why, sudden death playoffs, of course. With the bands playing every half time, in support of the teams.  Our weather has turned so on the kids that the band director is toying with letting the students march in warm street clothes, the decision for uniforms to be made at the last minute, so bring the uniform, too. Personally I believe that is her bribe to keep her band up to full force as her award winning band has yet to appear on the field in street clothes.

Tomorrow is the third sudden death for the football team; they survived the team that took them out last year, and one other. Tomorrow’s game is against a team they defeated already during the school year. The team is becoming quite cocky, Emily reports, but that goes two ways. Their confidence can carry them to another victory; their overconfidence can end the season. We’ll see.

Bringing me to the present. If the team wins tomorrow, they play again next Saturday. Thanksgiving weekend. Emily began softening me up by reciting all the people she knows who have plans for that weekend. Oddly, they’re all band members, not football players. She was, of course, working up to her Thanksgiving weekend, when one of her parents will be lifting the children from the shelf for the first time in three or four months, and taking his “family” across state for a long weekend with his partner’s parents.

“I guess,” Emily said, “I’ll just have to tell the band director I have a family emergency.”

“Was this a known possibility when you joined marching band?”

“Well, yes, but I would like to spend the weekend with my family.”

I let her bask in that thought for several days before I told her if there was another playoff game that weekend, she would be marching.

The bedroom on the other side of the hall exudes grumpy since then. Given her twelve years of religious upbringing prior to occupying that bedroom I shake my head and wonder when the moral compass will engage.




19 comments:

  1. Go Team! Go Band. Beating the same team twice in one season is sometimes very difficult.

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  2. ...only football parents emerged with eyes unglazed. THAT made me laugh.

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  3. Maybe she better start praying for a team's defeat. I'd be the same if I had a child in band, they would be marching unless we truly had planned and orchestrated a trip out of town for the holiday.

    betty

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  4. Making her honor her commitment is a good thing, though hard.

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  5. Bit of a dilemma for Emily, I hope she comes to realise the band needs her support.

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  6. Grumpy permeates walls well doesn't it?

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  7. oh what a dilemma for her, although I don't wish it on them, perhaps the team won't play

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  8. I must be odd man out here...but...I think family trumps band.

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  9. Hari OM
    the words 'rock' and 'cliff' come to mind; whichever way this is turned , its hard. Tomorrow will bring what it will... YAM xx

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  10. Having grandchildren who are involved in many activities that sometimes impose on family get togethers and celebrations, I have to agree with Delores.

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  11. I'd let her make her own decision and suffer the consequences (if necessary).

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  12. How old is Emily, Joanne? I agree with Kathy G. - or better: isn't it possible fot Emily to tell the truth to the band director?

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    1. Emily will be 16 next month. We have struggled mightily with the truth in this house. It still does not come naturally. Good you noticed the lie. I would second a request for an excused absence, but never a lie. Let's see if dumb luck prevails tonight.

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  13. It's hard when it's a choice between family and an extra-curricular. But, yes, a straight up approach would be better than claiming a family emergency.

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  14. The truth will out....it always does!
    Jane x

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  15. No one holds a grudge better than a 16 year old girl. I imagine everyone is a bit weary of band by now but as you so rightly pointed out, she did make the commitment, one made all the harder when so many band mates are skipping and a rare family get together would seem an acceptable reason for begging off. Choosing a lie over the truth, though, for no good reason is a different problem but perhaps a habit that served her well before you took over their upbringing. It may take a while for her to realize that is no longer a working strategy. Keep up the good work.

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  16. I always insist on the truth which often does not bring the results we had hoped for, but when one lie is put forward it is usually followed by more.

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  17. At her age life is often a puzzle and pulls in opposite directions can be upsetting. But sometimes making the decision of what to say and/or what to do is a milestone in one's life.

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