Opinion: Thank you, marching band

Commentary by Danielle Wilson

In this season of Thanksgiving, I’d like to recognize a most unlikely group, a marching band, for salvaging a steaming dump of a week.

I was on my way home after nearly 12 hours of high school debate competition (always a fun way to spend a Saturday!) when my younger daughter called to say she had not procured a ride to a Bar Mitzvah celebration, and could I please hurry up and take her. Normally, I would have pawned her off on my husband Doo, but he had been MIA for seven days, first on a business trip and then on a manly-man deer shooting expedition.

This single-parenting gig had already taken its toll. I’d been forced to deal with the election results and my oldest’s broken-nose surgery alone, on the same day, and hadn’t been sleeping much since. My diminished coping skills had resulted in zero grocery runs, zero papers graded and hours of phone solitaire. I was serving cat food to the dog, Halloween candy to the kids and a heaping pile of pity to myself.

But I still had to be mom, and so I got my daughter to her party, took her brother for Steak-n-Shake, and then drove downtown for my other daughter’s band competition. I left as soon as she was finished and mercifully crawled into bed before 11. But this was nationals, and though I was utterly exhausted, nerves and guilt kept me checking the live stream for updates. I’d already missed the prelims and semis. I felt I owed it to her to watch the results, albeit virtually.

As the bloggers began posting the finishes in exceptionally drawn-out fashion, adrenaline coursed through my body. Eventually, I had to sit up. Down to the final three, first one archrival and then another, were announced. Her band had won, on a tiebreaker point. I leapt out of bed, screaming and dancing. In that moment, I forgot about everything negative in my world and focused on the happiness of my child. And that made all the difference.

Congratulations CHS marching band, and, thank you. Peace out.