Wednesday, August 28, 2013


As you all probably know by now, Sonshine--my youngest--started his senior year in high school this past Monday. It was an exciting but slightly sad day for me. I'm excited that he's a senior and that he's executive officer of his JROTC battalion as well as a member of the National Honor Society and, of course, a member of the marching band. I'm just a little sad that he's on the cusp of true adulthood. Where did all the time go?

As you probably also know, I've been active as Band Mom for the past three years, but with the retirement of the previous band director, I find myself at a crossroads. The new band director has little knowledge of all that I really did for the band, and I'm not all that keen to raise his expectations. However, all that effort garnered me a few privileges. Namely free entrance to football games and contests because I traveled with the band and served as chaperone. Now, there's an assistant band director--no absolute need for a chaperone on the second bus.

I've been reluctant to introduce myself to the new band director though he did call me when he was first hired. Mainly trying to recruit my help in securing workers for Cowboy Stadium events. I nipped that right in the bud. I have no contacts. It was the previous band director who contacted everyone, including me, to round up TABC certified adults to run the registers. I haven't even worked an event yet this year, and the band has worked two so far. I don't feel too guilty about that. I've worked every event except maybe four (of all the ones we actually volunteered to work) in the three years Sonshine's been in band. In December, he'll be eighteen and can get TABC certified and work the rest of the events. :)

The real source of my melancholy is that I really love going to games and to the contests. I didn't mind helping the kids haul things into the stands or handing out half time snacks and ensuring the stands were as clean when we left as when we arrived. I don't want to be hauling props any more though. IMHO, students should be recruited for that purpose. I just don't want to miss out during Sonshine's senior year. I've been there the first three years, I should be there for the last one too.

My fear is that once I step forward, I'll get ALL the responsibility again, and I really don't want it, nor should I have to have it. I mean, I've paid my dues. I know I can say no. It's just that it's Sonshine and I know they need the help and I'm a softie.

I just want to be able to enjoy my senior year too, you know?? I've earned it.

Any suggestions??


Regina Richards said...

You asked for suggestions. Here's mine, though it may be a dud.

Admit to yourself that you probably spent as much or more, in a hundred little ways, being a chaperone as you would had you just being a parent in the stands. That takes the financial bit out of the equation.

Then imagine yourself attending all the events as simply an observer/applauder that you previously attended as an in-the-thick-of-it volunteer. How does that feel? If good, step into the cheering crowd, you've already done more than your fair share. But if it makes you feel bereft, just go ahead and volunteer and do your best to be a cog in the engine and not the entire engine - may not work, but you can try.

Having a daughter who just graduated high school and is now away at college, I can say that I regret the very few events I missed. I regret none of the ones I made or any of the work that I did around those events. Once it's over and they move on, it's over.

So the question comes back to what your heart tells you that you want. The same level of involvement in Band? A different level of involvement? Or perhaps you want the same level of involvement but in something different (like battalion or another student org)?

Not an easy call, but you're the only one who can make it. Good luck.

p.s. What does Sonshine want?

Unknown said...

I'll echo Regina's advice--you've more than paid your dues, so you shouldn't feel bad about being a spectator now.

Anonymous said...

How about deciding not to decide right away? Go to the game and see how it feels not to be in the thick of things. You can still sit by the band, right? Something I had to decide when my son was in marching band was whether I was intruding on his space ... so, because we could be honest with each other, I asked. His answer was also my answer :-)


Jen FitzGerald said...

Thanks, gals!

I ask Sonshine often if he wants me to be less present, but he always says he doesn't mind and even so, I try not to crowd him so to speak when I'm around.