Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Tale of Integrity.....

Subtitle: Where Did THAT Child Come From?

This is a story from many years ago, when my Sweet Girl was a mere freshman in high school.

She was in the marching band, which made me very proud and thrilled her. She had wanted to march in the band since ... well, since she had first laid eyes on a marching band.

It was the first away game, and Hubby and I chaperoned and rode the band bus. (That was our ONLY time doing that. I was afraid Hubby was going to get US thrown off the bus due to his misbehavior. Some role model.)

Around these parts, the high school band gets third quarter off from their duties, and they are free to visit the concession stand, visit with their other friends, or smoke cigarettes under the bleachers. Oh wait... that was when I was in the band. Sorry.

One form of discipline employed by the band director and section leaders was the loss of third quarter privileges. If you committed some egregious offense (uniform violation, forgetting your music, being late, etc.), your punishment was to sit in the stands during third quarter while everyone else went and milled around. Imagine if you will a lone figure (or two) wearing a band uniform and sitting in an otherwise empty section of metal bleachers. Conspicuous much?

On this first away game, I went to chat with Sweet Girl and she had tears in her eyes.

"I forgot my music," she said.

"Well, can't you look on with someone else?" I asked naively.

"That's not it," she explained, probably thinking I was slightly slow. "I lose my third quarter privileges."

I didn't think it was THAT bad, especially since I didn't particularly want her down there under the bleachers doing God knows what ... Wait....wrong generation again. Sorry.

During third quarter of the game I went to sit with Sweet Girl and make her feel better, until I was run out of the section by another adult, the band secretary. I was unaware that third quarter criminals were also not allowed to talk during third quarter, not even to their MOTHERS. Before I left, though, one of the band officers came up to Sweet Girl with a clipboard in his hand.

"Who gave you third quarter detention?" he asked.

"I forgot my music," Sweet Girl explained.

"But who told you that you had to sit out during third quarter?" he persisted, looking at the list on his clipboard, apparently not finding her name.

"No one," Sweet Girl answered. "I just knew that's what I had to do."

He looked at her like she had lost her mind, and then he walked away shaking his head. He went and told the band secretary, who told the band director, who said, "Sounds like officer material to me."

I was (and am) awestruck by her integrity. I would like to think I raised her to be like that, but I'm afraid it was nothing more than blind luck.

Sweet Girl, you rock!

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