Band camp has reached the halfway point, and the Spawn is sacked in after a week of 6:30 wake-ups for 8-5 rehearsals. She’s also been driving herself to and from these sessions, making for a fair amount of fingernail-chewing here at Spackle Manor. She is supposed to phone us as soon as she arrives, but Mrs. M and I have craved visual confirmation as well.
The first three days I would wait a few minutes and head over to the high school myself to make sure she made it OK. This didn’t work so well the first day, as I took a different route and wound up beating her to the spot by a few minutes. On the upside, she clearly isn’t speeding. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I took the same less-traveled route she takes, and although I didn’t catch up with her — quite — I saw she had made it safely.
On Thursday, I decided to just sit and wait for her call, which was fine, except she didn’t call. Finally, at 7:55, I rang her. “Forget something?”
“Oh, yeah. I’m here and fine.” She told me later that some of her friends gave her a bit of grief about her overprotective parents, and I told her she could avoid that embarrassment by calling when she parked the car. I will admit that the “Because I said so” card may have been played.
In any case, she called promptly on arrival yesterday, so things were fine. Meanwhile, Mrs. M and I thought a celebration of making the halfway point might be in order. As I’ve said before, Mondoville High is a majority-minority school, and not exactly at the top of the socioeconomic heap. Many-to-most of the kids come from what we used to call broken homes, assuming the homes were ever intact to begin with. The fact that the Spawn comes from a two-parent home has made her an object of curiosity to many of her fellow color guard kids.
One of the consequences of the whole business is that lots of kids don’t really have anything for lunch. The Spawn — who for her own inexplicable reasons, hasn’t eaten lunch since toddlerhood — brings crackers, bottled water and such, which she shares with the kids in the guard, but again, for teenagers who are doing this stuff from 8-5, that isn’t much.
So as I said, Mrs. M and I thought something should be done to mark the halfway point, so Mrs. M ran by the local pizza joint, picked up 8 of the cheap pies for 40 bucks, and headed over just past noon. When she got there, she saw three kids sitting on the band room stoop, stuck her head in the room, and found that most of the kids were resting in the cafeteria. She found her way there, laid the pizzas out on one of the tables, and became the most beloved figure in Mondoville, if only for a few minutes.
It’s funny — now my wife, who can’t even play a radio, will be able to tell a story: “One time, at band camp…”