This past weekend, we took a day-trip to see Tyler and Kate's marching band perform at regionals. One of my oldest and best friends, Maria, (and by "oldest" I mean we've been friends for 27 years) happened to be attending this competition because her daughter is on color guard for another high school. We were so excited to be able to see each other and watch our kids all perform. Unfortunately, her son developed a fever, so she stayed home with him.
The afternoon took a few weird turns, due to weather in the area and seemingly poor planning on behalf of the music association. A wave of rain left the football field too muddy for the bands to use, relegating them to the host school's back parking lot. That left spectators (us) to stand on our choice of adjacent pavement, tennis courts or muddy grass. Damned if the muddy grass had the best view, so that's where we ended up. Pair those tidbits with the fact that the weather also delayed the start time by and hour (due to more impending rain), and there were half-a-gazillion people trying to find parking spots in a relatively small lot, and you've got a potentially volatile situation on your hands.
In the end, it wasn't a bad experience. The second wave of rain held off, we were able to watch Snider give a wonderful performance (including Tyler's trumpet solo) and we got to see the kids right after they finished. Because of the conditions, we didn't stay as long as planned, so that allowed a little more time to visit my brother's family who lives in the area. We picked up pizzas and soda, and pretty much invited ourselves over for a while before heading out on the two-hour drive home.
On the way home, I reflected on the day and realized the little life lessons encountered along the way:
* Always be flexible with your plans. Having a Plan B waiting in the wings helps.
* Gold lame is neither a flattering, nor forgiving fabric. (Special note for color guard costume decision-makers.)
* When the kids have been working hard on their show, almost every day since August 3, enduring outdoor practice in sweltering heat, rain and (most recently) 40 degree weather, you DO NOT get to bitch about standing to watch them perform or getting a little bit of mud on your shoes.
* Often times, the more expensive the car, the more inconsiderate the driver. Not always, but I'm just sayin'.
* Getting teary-eyed with pride at your stepchildren's performance can take you by surprise, and clearly erases the word "step" from the beginning of that word.
* When you invite yourself to someone's house (even family) come bearing gifts -- or at least food.
And, proving that every dark cloud has a silver lining, both our school and Maria's daughter's have advanced to semi-state. This means, while we missed getting together last weekend, we can look forward to seeing each other in Indianapolis this coming weekend.
I love it when Karma smiles on us.