My daughter is in the marching band this year and I have been experiencing warm fuzzies as I watch her march along in the footsteps of her uncles and aunt and grandparents. I was in the band as well, and played the same instrument as my daughter, the flute, but I froze solid during my tryouts for flag corps in 9th grade, and decided I wasn’t cut out for band afterall. Drama club was very, very good to me.
When my daughter went on her first band trip for an away game I didn’t think anything of it at first, but was struck by an unexpectedly strong feeling of pride and comeraderie when I pulled into the parking lot that night just as the line of busses were returning to the school. It was late – around 11:30 p.m. – and the thought of my daughter being a part of something that takes such commitment and hard work puffed me up with pride.
Bus trips are just something that every kid should get to experience. I took them to contests with my drama group, and I was in a choir in college that traveled all over the east coast one spring. There is just something about the identity you create for yourself while traveling on a bus that is unique. You stake out your seat, you have your bag of favorite snack foods, your pillow, your blanket, your book or your personal electronic equipment… then there are the silly road games you play, or songs you sing… it’s just a great bonding experience.
Last weekend the marching band took their last bus trip of the season as the Har-Ber Wildcats went to Little Rock to play the Fayettville Bulldogs in the state championship game. D wanted to ride down the day before with her grandparents who were up here for the holidays, but I thought it was important for her to have that last trip experience. She may not be in band next year, due to schedule conflicts, but she will always remember the trips she took on the bus and proudly call herself a band geek.