Friday night football games, performing during half-time at football games, band camp, meeting my future husband, practicing 3 nights a week for hours not counting games and competitions on the weekends, doing the same drill over and over until we got it perfect, being constantly yelled at in front of the whole band over the loudspeaker if you did something wrong…our band director loved to call people out and make fun of them…having to wear those awkward band uniforms and hats, late nights on buses, the smell of diesel, the sound of the announcer saying “Fort Mill High School Band, you may now take the field in competition”, the feeling when you are playing the last note of the show and know that you kicked ass, the freezing cold nights, the butterflies in your stomach as awards are being announced, the adrenaline when you hear who is announced as second place but can’t move because you were required to stand at attention until the very end…and then the most awesome feeling when you hear that you have won!
All those memories came back to me this past weekend when I went with my brother, my mom, and my oldest daughter to the 4A State Band Competition. When I was in high school I went to Fort Mill High School and each of my four years we won first place at state competition. Years after I graduated, and after more and more people immigrated to Fort Mill, they added another high school. The band director that I had moved to the new school and they did really well in competition too, beating Fort Mill over the past few years at state. But Saturday night my hometown took back 1st place and I was so happy for them! It was like I was a teenager again even though that was 13+ years ago. Then I realized that in just 3 short years, I will be in those stands every Friday and Saturday night watching my own daughter march on the field. It’s amazing how fast time flies.
And no, band camp is nothing at all like “American Pie” portrays it to be 🙂