Thursday, November 13, 2014

Drinkin' the Kool-Aid

Someone told me about the Band Mom Kool-Aid.  Drink it, they said.  You'll love it, they said.  Here in the Other OC, the POD Kool-Aid is especially sweet.  They were right on all counts.  From the first sip, I was hooked.

POD stands for Pride of the Dutchman Marching Band.  It's potent stuff, folks. Children are lured to the streets by the sounds of "Championship" and the hypnotizing "shoosh - shoosh" of wooden shoes skimming the pavement every year at Tulip Festival in May. Most can't wait to someday join the ranks. Marissa has always been quite taken with the POD. She marched in TF parades in the 6th grade and junior high bands. This year as a high school freshman, her band geekage was allowed to fully blossom. Marching down the street in wooden shoes, making 4 right turns in straight lines is all well and good, but street marching is the gateway drug to the field show. We're talking ship formations that plunge themselves against the rocks when lured by the sirens, triumphant ghost ships, and jazz runs - all present in the 2014 POD Field Show, The Flying Dutchman.

Here is what I was never told, or fully understood:
1. How incredibly proud I would be of my child participating in something I had never done myself.  You know this starts on day one. Your child toots and its amazing; smiles and you are over the moon.  Surely yours is the the most brilliant, most talented of them all.  However, as my children have gotten older and are doing things that I have little context for understanding, I find I have moved from being just proud of them to being in total awe.  Marissa showed me her set list for her positions and movements within the show and it looks like a foreign language.  HOW DO YOU DO THIS AND PLAY AN INSTRUMENT (CORRECTLY) AT THE SAME TIME? I am seriously wowed!

2. It's not just your kid, it's all of them. Marissa spent a good 3 weeks prior to her first day of high school at band camp learning the field show with freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors.  We have a small high school - about 400 kids - and about 150 of them are in band.  I think band camp sort of transforms them into this weird, albeit dysfunctional, family with odd tan lines.  Of course, no one has names last names in band camp.  I heard tales of Jake the baritone, and Claire the bass clarinet and she's guard or he's in the pit.  Say what? Anyway, when I saw their first show, I couldn't help but root for every single one of them and got tears in my eyes while doing so. I also had the reassurance that she wasn't going to parts unknown that first day of school.  Her weird little family would be there to look out for her.

3.  When the season is over, that show is done. Forever.  This is the part that is so very bittersweet.  The Flying Dutchman had an incredible run.  We placed well in all our competitions, but more than that it was just an incredibly fun show to watch! First I thought it was just me, because my kid was marching, but we had strangers from other schools that we were competing against tell us what a great show it was.  People emailed our band director out of the blue to compliment us.   But now it's gone and can never be the same again. That group of kids will never play that show, with that music, with those sets ever again.  It kinda breaks my heart. On the other hand, we can hardly wait for next year's season!

Somehow, I can't help but think this is a strong analogy for having a child in these crazy, magical, high school years.  They wake up, grab some breakfast, and go out and quietly change the world as you know it.   Four years and the season is over.  So as much as I dread coming to the end of my glass, I plan to linger over it, let it loll on my tongue, and get the full flavor so I can appreciate every single drop, all the while looking forward to the next show.

You knew I had to give you the link! Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First Recital(s)

Maren's first piano recital: (notice how she is trying to cue her teacher...hmmmm.)  Princess Maren you did a GREAT job! So proud of you!

And here we have Harry's first recital. The first one caught on video that is.  He does it every.single.time. Lizzy comes over.  I think her sweet little high pitched giggle gets him going. Silly dog.

And only four more recitals to go.  Marissa has two viola recitals to perform at and Maren has two dance recital performances to do yet.  Whew!! Is your May this crazy? I might be howling at the moon just like Harry by the end of it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Other OC

Here in this OC we are having a snow day of considerable proportions.  Just last week Thursday at this hour in the day we were in stand-by passenger h-e-double-hockey-sticks en route to LAX via Philadelphia.  The longest six hour flight EV-AH! Was the trip out to Cali worth it? Yup. We had a mighty fine, although, very short, time.

Of course, we had to do Disneyland.  Not being much of a theme park person myself, we felt strangely compelled to make sure the girls were given this experience.  Odd, huh?  No offense to Mr. Disney or any of that, but it costs a bit of money, it was crowded, and Maren mildly freaked after the last drop on Splash Mountain and we were hard pressed to get her on another ride after that.  Oh, and it costs a lot of money.

But, I will have to say the look on the girls faces during the fireworks was pretty priceless.  The minute Maren spotted Tinkerbell swooping by on her way to the castle, she was enthralled.  Even Marissa in her middle school disdain for just about anything, was utterly fascinated.  And so was I. Beautiful, beautiful fireworks.

So here's a few pics just to make things legit:

I think I saw Marissa visibly cringe when we headed into ToonTown.

Gotta get an airplane pic for the Captain!

It truly is a Small World when there are that many people out and about.

Awww!  Nothing brings two sisters together like a good ride and some centrifugal force.

Did I mention the weather was just gorgeous?

Maren rockin' the ears. Had to do the ears.

Another reason we headed out Cali was to see the Captain's brother and his family.  The Captain had seen them at various weddings and birthdays and such, but our whole family and not seen their whole family for about three years.  Which, as kids seem to grow up in the blink of an eye these day, was way too long.

Madisen's the movie star in the fam.  Maren was pretty star struck.  She has already informed me that our next vacation should most definitely include Madisen, Rylie and Declan.  Pretty sure the feeling was mutual for Marissa.  We hung out at Huntington Beach with them on Saturday afternoon.

Maren loving the sunshine and sea breeze.

Obviously it was a bit too cold take a dip sans wetsuit, but Marissa informed me that she "would so jump in the ocean" if we weren't there watching.  She was in water up past her knees before we knew it.

Christmas card for next year?

What a good looking group!!

The kids had a good time together.  Even Declan seemed to tolerate all those girls pretty well.  We made them take a "nice" shot.

But really most of the shots looked something like this.

Yeah, they got along just fine.

As I look out the window at our 6 (and counting) inches of snow, it all seems like a dream.  A California dream.  Yes, that pun was very much intended. We'll be baaaack. Arnold voice.  Get it? Yeah, I'll stop now.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Very Very Merry

We had a wonderful Christmas, but somehow I feel a bit like this.  I think Harry has the right idea.  Maybe I will crawl under the tree and join him.  Yeah, sounds good.  I'll be back....
Sweet Shot Day

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Perfect Pairings Psalms 100:5

 I couldn't find the "I saw grandma kissing Santa Claus" verse, so I"ll have to go with this one instead:

Psalm 100:5

 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

It's good to see the "generations" get together and Grandma got it all started with a little help from, well, not Santa (that's MY Santa). Just in case you were wondering. 

Joining up with Baloney today.