Monday, January 21, 2019

Still Conducting

When I was a junior in high school, I became the Drum Major of my school's marching band.  In case you weren't lucky enough to be a "band geek" - this position (also sometimes called a Field Commander) is essentially in charge of keeping the tempo for the ensemble while they are playing/marching.  Some drum majors use a whistle or a baton, but I just used my hands to clap "commands" and conduct the music.

I have no idea if I was a good Drum Major.

Conducting a Memorial Day performance at the local cemetery in May 2001.

Unlike my predecessor, I never won any "Outstanding Drum Major" awards for my precision or style.  I'm pretty sure I was MORE concerned with the fact that I was wearing a short jacket with white pants and giving a clear view of my butt to the Friday night football crowd than I *ever* was with making sure I was giving cues in a clear and concise way.

I also know I had a habit of jumping around a bit on the podium when I was standing up in front of the field.  Thank goodness for some friends in the pit who would signal to me when my toes were hanging over the edge.  But honestly, if I had fallen off... I think that the band would have been able to keep on playing and marching without me up there waving my arms.  It's hard to imagine anyone watching/hearing our field show and exclaiming - "Wow!  What an amazing conductor!"  If I was doing my job right, the sounds our band was putting out into the world should have been getting all the glory.       

I realized today that I'm still doing that sort of behind-the-scenes "conducting."

When it comes to my 7-year-old daughter, my husband is clearly her favorite parent.  And while I'll be the first to tell you that he is an excellent father, what she doesn't know is that many of things that make him "super cool" in her eyes... were actually orchestrated by her "boring old Mom."

That time he was out running errands and surprised her by borrowing a couple of movies that she'd been dying to see from the library?  That was me sending him a text message asking him to swing by before he came home.

That Christmas present he gave her that earned him a giant smile and a hug around the neck?  Yeah... that's what I told him to buy.

Those times when her little brother is driving her crazy and Daddy suggests that *just* the two of them go on an adventure to Target or to a trampoline park? You guessed it - that's my doing too.

I'd say there is almost a zero percent chance that my daughter will ever see me direct a marching band.  But I'm still "conducting" - whether she knows it or not.

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