Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Band Trek: The Next Generation

Band Geek:[band] (gēk) noun-
A person who is single-minded or accomplished in high school and/or college musical pursuits, and are thusly felt to be socially inept.

Popular flickers like High School Musical and Drumline and wink-wink Band geek characters like Michelle "One time at Band Camp..." Flaherty in the American Pie Series have gone along way to de-frock the Band Geeks from their perceived cloaks of uber-cootiness.

What Napoleon Dynamite did for FFA Judging Teams, popular culture and a few dirty words uttered by a nympho-teenage flautist have enabled Band Geeks the nation over to hold their heads up high in their declarations for a portion of the coolness factor normally reserved for campus athletes and the cheer squad.

Last Saturday night, after standing in freezing rain and 0 degree celsius temps to watch our two snowgirls and their dance class gracefully stumble down the icy streets of downtown in the annual nighttime Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, we spent a few hours downing mug after mug of delicious cocoa and playing games with a multi-generational family of Band Geeks.

The first generation, the parents - two of the nicest people the world has ever known, met while in Band in high school. They had a band romance, developed a band relationship, threw a band wedding, and now have two wonderful, bright, intelligent and adorable band kids.

The eldest of which is dating a fellow Band Geek, who happened to be joining us that evening for cocoa and reindeer games.

While it feels natural to notice a jock parent raising a jockette offspring, or a scientist configuring a math quiz whiz kid, why then did I find quirkiness in the fact that a pair of Band Geek parents were indeed raising a Band Geek?

Internal bias? Old Skool campus classicism? Preconceived notions of what was cool when I was a kid vs. the reality of how hip it is to be able to play an instrument?

Parenting for some seems to come down to what comfort level their skills were as a kid, filtered and translated to adulthood.

While I could never see myself raising a Quarterback or Pitcher, nor see my daughters being drawn to becoming a Band Geek or the Chess Club President, it doesn't mean I won't encourage the heck out of them to do whatever they want to do (legal of course), and introduce them to as many different activities as the world has to offer.

But how I handle myself when they come to me with interests that far exceed anything I would have been interested in as a kid, will be something I imagine I should start preparing myself for now.

I mean, how many kids come up to their folks saying they want to be a "Hot Rod building-Independent Filmmaking-Final Cut Pro Editing-Macintosh Software Programming-Tae Kwon Do head kicking-SCCA GT1 Corvette Racing-North Shore tube surfing-Space Shuttle piloting-Elvis worshiping" leader of the free world?

Well, I have two daughters, so my odds just doubled.

As long as they don't want to be actresses. Anything, but that.

I know, I know, I just cursed myself. Doomed.

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