Today I went to a middle school basketball game. I got there late so I only saw the last 4 minutes of the 8th grade girls' game and only stayed for the first quarter of the 7th grade game. Though I cheered them on just as loudly as the other parents, I wasn't really there to see the game. I'd come to see the band--the Lakewood Middle School Pep Band.
When my older daughter first decided she wanted to join band, I was supportive and encouraging. I'd never played a musical instrument myself (unless you count the blade of grass made into a whistle), but I'm always happy when my kids try new things. She told us that the kids in band were cool. Poor kid--she'd been in an advanced class since 2nd grade and all the smart kids in her class joined band. She thought they were cool. While part of me didn't want to knock these talented kids, I couldn't let her walk into her first day of middle school and be blindsided by the ways of the tweens. I felt it my obligation as a parent to let her know not everyone in 6th grade was going to be impressed by her clarinet skills. A great hook shot, maybe; being able to hit high C, probably not.
So I went to the game today to hear my daughter play. I have to admit they were pretty good. They've all come a long way since that first 5th grade band concert, with all the squeaks and squawks coming out of those shiny new instruments. And while her musical skills may not guarantee her popularity, she was there with some very nice, decidedly un-geeky girls, all wearing their Pep Band t-shirts with a pony tail holder making it snug in the back. She smiled and laughed with her friends during breaks and played her clarinet-heart out during the songs. I was not only very proud, but happy that she'd found this niche that fit her so well.
What I want to know is would she be terribly embarrassed if I showed up at the next event with a shirt that says "I'm with the (Pep) Band"?