As a kid, I took piano lessons for a few years before my athletic and academic commitments took over all my free time and participated in choir while in junior high, and The General played the trombone for what he's described as one torturous year. Music - other than those early to mid-90s tunes we blared from our car speakers - was not a priority in our lives growing up. Instead we were dedicated to sports. Basketball, track, football, volleyball, baseball and softball, cross country - if there was a sport offered we enrolled. As parents we've accepted that we are probably not dealing with future scholarship winning athletes at our house. Cheerleading is a new way of life we've navigated carefully, but then there was the newest adventure. We knew it was coming, but still we didn't know quite what to do with ourselves when McKenna announced that she wanted to join the band.
Band parents? Us? It's not a lifestyle either of us know anything about. Does this mean we have to start going to band booster meetings? Am I suddenly going to be expected to participate in a high number of bake sales? The General was very concerned with what this might mean for McKenna's social status. He referenced the term "band nerd," and after some discussion we came to the conclusion that band members LOVED being band nerds. It was a badge of honor! And so we signed up our kid for band.
McKenna chose the clarinet to the surprise of no one, and a friend was kind enough to let us borrow hers until we decide if this is something McKenna is going to commit to. We've listened to the progression from squeaky painfulness to songs we can sing along with, and her excitement is obvious. Her first concert was earlier this month, and I will say that without a doubt that was the very best fifth grade band concert I have ever attended. Did you see how I didn't say "the least painful fifth grade band concert I was every forced to suffer through"? It really was that good.
Unfortunately, we have no audio proof of this statement. Apparently video is a little bit more revealing than still photography when it comes to band concerts. These band parents obviously still have a lot to learn.