For the entire next two days, I wheedled, lectured and asserted my role as parent. She WOULD help out the casual marching band, she WOULD play the cymbals, and she WOULD have fun! After all, the entire event was loud and crazy and she got to CRASH the cymbals together!
The morning of the parade arrived and she put her foot down. It was HER life! I could NOT make her do it! She would NOT do it! I was proud that she was willing to take a chance and question authority, like all good Catholic youth need to do. Through my pride I announced that, yes, she would do it, because I was the lady with the ride tickets, the cash, and the transportation to the festival.
It was nippy and she needed to keep her hands warm to play the cymbals, so I instructed her to find a pair of gloves. With tears in her eyes and a crack in her voice, she chose the cheap white stretchy gloves from Walgreen's. If she was going to have to march to her doom crashing the cymbals together, at least she could do it in comfort and elegance.
The usual ordered chaos awaited us at the staging area for the parade. We dropped off my youngest, who was marching with the Brownies at the front of the parade, and headed for the spot where the
My resolve began to feel justified with each step and then: "Rocky! You are going the wrong way – the fifth grade is meeting down there. Aren't you lucky?! You get to ride in a LIMO!" Bless her heart; she is one of the nicest women I know. I imagined my fist crashing into her nose, and the emanating sound was a musical combination of crunching bone, popping cartilage, and the crash of the cymbals.
"Rocky's in the casual marching band!" I smiled, grabbed my kid's sleeve and hurried toward the tuba. "She won't be riding in the limo!" with a wave and a smile I tried to close this deal before her almost 11 year old brain could even start to protest. I was too late. Seconds later, in searching for the cymbals, the casual band leader announced that that the cymbals never made it to the parade as they were forgotten in the music room. It was over. I thought I was advancing to sweet victory. Fate's cruel voice laughingly whispered that I was actually casually marching, sans cymbals, to bitter defeat. With a squeal and a hop, my 5th grader bolted down the line toward her class, toward her limo, toward her own victory, on this fine Autumn Daze morning.