Parades and Marching Bands

How do you identify?  I am a mom.  I am a daughter   I am a book lover.  These are identifiers I’ve held for decades.  Summer in Oregon seems to be parade season so I’m also reminded that I am a Band Parent.

As bands practice for the upcoming Rose Parade, I think about the amazing things young people in our community are doing to make our world more interesting and know that parental and community support make it possible.While I had kids in marching band for 7 years, I didn’t really consider myself a band parent until I was seated along the parade route on Veterans’ Day a few years go watching band after high school marching band go by.

Each group was escorted or trailed by a group of band parents.  When Marysville-Pilchuck High proudly passed I thought, “Why does that name sound familiar?” By the time the clarinets were marching by I realized that just two weeks prior, this school had been in the news for a tragic loss.  The band members marching by had survived a shooting at their school.  My heart ached for them.

By the time the band parents for this group went by, I realized that I was a band parent too. The kids marched on followed by their support group. There to honor Veterans, they did a fine job. I was so inspired by the group as they moved onward.  The ordinary band kids followed by ordinary band parents made me realize how quickly things can change. I can only imagine how different life must be for kids and parents now.  

That night, this band parent was thinking about and praying for the other band parents and parents of high school students who have experienced extraordinary circumstances that are becoming too common place in our world. My heart was indeed touched!

Last night, a local news station highlighted the mental health crisis in our nation.  KATU’s Kind Is Better:  A Youth Mental Health Town Hall  reminded me once again of the importance of community in supporting our kids and one another.  The conversation was powerful.

I am a mom.  I am a daughter.  I am a book lover.  I am a band parent.  I am an individual that needs to be incredibly mindful of finding the connections I have with others.  It’s so easy to sit on the sidelines and watch things go by without realizing the hurt and hope others show as they march onward.

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