If you're lucky, then you know that something is magical while you are experiencing it. Today, I am very lucky.
And it's not because my daughter's high school marching band on Sunday won its 30th state title (in 36 years). Admittedly, such a finish is a great way to cap the last four years. But I would feel this lucky no matter how the band finished because of the magical journey she's been on and everything she learned from it.
She learned that hard work really does pay off. And that there's a reason for paying attention to the details.
She learned to be dedicated through heat and cold and wind and rain, and through all those after-school and Saturday rehearsals.
She eventually learned to remember her gloves and her MTXs (band shoes) but she knew that if she forgot them, she could count on mom and dad. And she learned to be a (section) leader and to count on her fellow bandies too.
She learned that it's a privilege to step into a tradition of excellence but that it takes an unselfish attitude to continue that tradition. And she learned that despite a history of winning, that every time you step on the field, you always try your best. Nothing is ever taken for granted.
And maybe, although she may not admit it, she may have learned that the elementary music teacher was right when he told her in the fifth grade to practice her saxophone a little more. Her dedication to her music increased with her love of the band.
I am grateful that she shared the experience with me. Four years ago, when I told her I wanted to volunteer to be a uniform mom, she rolled her eyes just a little and then she let me into her special circle.
And what did I learn?
Well, most recently, I learned that in less than one week, I could make 14 decoupaged picture frames, a senior shadow box, a photo album and have my daughter tell me that I needed a cape (to truly be a super mom), which made all my exhaustion worthwhile. Eventually, I'll get around to making her the fourth and final pillow from the show T-shirt. You see, I've learned that sometimes even super moms can't do everything.
I've learned how quickly teenagers can grow from one season to the next. I know that when they hand you their uniform after a performance that you always need to check their pockets for gum, a cell phone or a glove.
I learned to look at yards and yards of white muslim fabric and believe that it could really become 75 pairs of angel wings. And that you can make a color guard flag that resembles the sign at a railroad crossing.
And I also learned the value of teamwork because I was only one of a special group of moms and dads who gave as much time and effort as I did over the last four years. Today, I know they're feeling like I do. Lucky.