Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Our New Family Motto

Guest Tuba Player
Normally the two days following Thanksgiving are made up of equal parts leftovers and lethargy. We sit in our individual tryptophan comas, maybe bestirring ourselves to get up for another piece of pie, but with very little planned activity. This year was different.

Boy#3 is the band director in a small-ish town a couple of hours away. This year that town's football team achieved the Holy Grail of small Kansas towns--state high school football championships. And if you are shaking your head in disbelief at that description rather than nodding in recognition, you obviously are not from Kansas.

Anyway, there cannot possibly be a state football championship without a marching band cheering on its team. As a result, while the rest of us were rhetorically asking if we were out of aerosol whipped cream, Three was back on the road to his home so that he could herd his band onto the bus bright and early the next morning. Sadly, though, some parents make Thanksgiving week plans without taking into account that their low brass player might be needed for the marching band at the state championship game so there were gaps in the instrumentation. (I know! What were they thinking?)

Enter Boy #2. He had been a band geek all the way through college and still can out-oompah most high school tuba players, so Three asked if he would be willing to provide a bass line at the game. He was, and the entire family became groupies for the day, sitting three rows behind the band to cheer them on.

It could not have been more fun. As you can tell by the clouds in the picture above, it was a spectacularly beautiful day that was not too hot, not too cold, but just right. The Fighting Greenbacks (Nope. Not even kidding.) were in control of the game from the opening drive so there was no nailbiting about who was going to win. And high school football game hot dogs are perhaps the only food more delicious than Thanksgiving leftovers. (Again, not kidding.)

The best moment of the day, though, came when Three was back in school on Monday talking to one of his eighth-grade students.

"Mr. W.," the student told Three, "I was sitting right behind the band, and I saw that tuba player and thought 'That must be Mr. W.'s brother.' Then I looked the other way and the exact same guy was coming up the steps and I thought, 'That must be Mr. W.'s brother.' Then I looked in front of me, and thought, 'Oh, there's Mr. W.' And then I looked behind me and thought, 'That must be Mr. W.'s brother.'"

Then, Three told us later, the eighth-grader shook his head in bewilderment.

"So many W.'s!"

His confusion is understandable. The Boys have always looked like two sets of twins (One and Three, Two and Four). Add matching hoodies and glasses and the distinction is almost impossible to the untrained eye.

Also, I've had that sentiment hundreds of times over the past 33 years so I'm declaring it our new family motto.

So Many W's!

Two, Four, Three, One

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