Guess what Charli and I did this weekend? We went to not one... not two... but THREE parades!
Why? Because we don't have enough Dubble Bubble, Dum Dums and Toostie Rolls of course. Duh.
Actually, the real reason is because Rosie has joined St. Cloud's All City Marching Band - and as parents we are contractually obligated to attend all parades no matter how far away, how rainy or how long they last. But that's perfectly ok with us because Rosie is a great kid and we are
great proud parents.
This band is unique in that it's city-wide, and accepts kids from any school in the area, grades 7-12, whether they have experience or not. For 4 weeks they rehearse like mad until the week before the first parade of the season. Then, the entire band heads out of town to a rural middle school where they spend five days at "spat camp" practicing their marching routine and songs 12 hours a day.
This is the marching band equivalent of military boot camp, and by the time these kids are done they have been transformed into obedient little toy soldiers who can perform a choreographed routine in perfect unison while executing a complex musical score.
The entire week Rosie was there we only received 2 short phone calls from her. At first we thought she was being inconsiderate by not returning our pleas for daughterly communications, but when we unpacked her bags and saw that she had never even opened any of the Doritos or Oreos we sent as treats, we knew she was simply too busy and/or exhausted to worry about updating us. And every other parent we talked to said the same thing.
On the surface it sounds like a pretty rough ride for these poor kids, but as Rosie has said... "I LOVE IT!"... which also explains why the majority of them end up signing up for the entire 5 year ride. Of course it doesn't hurt that they get to go on cool band trips either. This year, they are headed off to Colorado for a week of sight seeing, amusement parks and white water rafting.
So, if you're ever at a parade in rural MN this summer, look for the littlest kid on the end of the mellophones. Then look for her parents walking along the sidewalk taking pictures and generally embarrassing the crap out of her. That would be us.