Nov 17

Thank-You from Kathy Waters

Posted in Bandparents' Note by Eric Knutson

I can’t begin to put into words how blessed I feel to have been a part of this organization. I began as a ‘clueless’ freshman parent 10 years ago. And I mean clueless. I remember taking a lawn chair with me to Joe’s first competition in Marshall. I looked just a little ridiculous carrying it through the gates. I’m sure people wondered what I was going to do with it. And I was almost afraid of some of the band parents that seemed almost cult like! Yes, freshman parents, be honest, that thought has crossed your mind! Oh, and I was so musically challenged I commented to my kids once in the dome that someone else was playing the same song they do, to which my kids burst out laughing, telling me, “Mom, those are scales!” But it didn’t take long to realize this was a wonderful family atmosphere for my own family to have great experiences and to be a part of something bigger than life. Culminating with one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had, when my band kids and family sang Happy Birthday to me Monday night. And hearing Ave Maria one last time. Thank you Seniors.

I know my younger two got tired of being dragged all over to their older brother’s band stuff, but once they were in, they were also hooked, as was I. Sam was a Junior Roadie before he even got to high school. When I took over as chaperone chair I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I want to say a huge Thank You to the Carlson’s for the belief in me to do the job even after my first year. Ask anyone who was around and they will tell you that first year I was more than just a little bit frantic. But I settled in and these past few years have been incredible. I hope you parents know I love all my band kids and treat them like my own. And that meant I may have chewed them out, gently of course, on occasion when I felt they needed it. But I also cheered them on wildly, gave hugs abundantly and comforted them when necessary. I can only hope that somewhere over the years I influenced at least one student in a positive way to feel good about themselves, know they were appreciated for their hard work or maybe even taught them a lesson or two.

I could tell many stories, but that would mean a never ending litany, as any chaperone will tell you from my wrap up emails I am good at! So I will sum it up with just telling two. On our Macy’s trip a particular student was on a pity party for a whole day. Finally I told her she could wake up each day and be joyful or negative. It was always her choice.(in a nutshell mind you) She told me she wished someone had told her that before and thanked me. And when a student I gave a bad time to on more than one occasion, over more than one season, can later come ask me to make sure I sat in her section of the bus our last year together, I guess I was successful at something along the way. Never underestimate the power you have as one volunteer to make a difference in a young person’s life. I am sure my successors will all see the many opportunities in their volunteer work to do the same.

I will miss all ‘my’ band kids more than I can say. They are just the most awe inspiring group of young people anywhere! I’m always bragging about them to anyone who will listen! No one can give me goose bumps like they can. I hope some of them will remain lifelong friends. I wish all of you the best. As I tell my Seniors every year. Hopefully you will tell fun stories to your band kids some day about your band experiences and the crazy band mom you once knew.

Sincerely Grateful,
Kathy Waters