I drove slowly around the lane that loops around the high school parking lot. I was a bit early to pick up Golden Boy and a few of his fellow ninth graders from the grueling morning football practice.
I was the head of the parent parking brigade, and I rolled my window down before I turned off the car.
I turned my head slightly to the left so that I could watch the high school band practice their halftime show in the parking lot below.
It took my breath away.
They were playing Anchors Away and each section marched with purpose and determination as they zig zagged their way through each other.
My heart filled as I listened to the familiar song. My eyes searched quickly for the percussion section as my mind returned to 1972. I spotted her; the smallest member of the section balancing the oversized snare drum as her legs tried desperately to keep pace with her fellow percussionists.
It wasn’t easy; and that I knew for a fact.
I was that girl; the last to get her drum and the shortest drummer in the band. I worked hard, made sure I kept up, and laughed while others were convinced I would quit.
But I didn’t.
On this summer day I smiled because I knew that the smallest drummer out in that parking lot wouldn’t quit, either.
Well, except when she becomes the cheerleader. Only THEN will she quit the band. She’ll do it on her own terms, and go from the smallest drummer in the band to the happiest cheerleader on the squad. She’ll be perched proudly on the tippy top of the pyramid, and then all of the band will be cheering.
They most certainly all will be cheering.
(Some stories do have a happy ending.)