Happy New Year, From a Band Director’s Wife
On our first date, my husband told me he had 300 kids. I wondered immediately why he was dating.
When he went on to explain that he was a high school marching band director, it all started to make a bit more sense. He went on to say that his band was a big priority in his life, and he couldn’t be with anyone who didn’t subscribe to that. In my heart, right then and there, I signed up. Given that our first date was in October, I know that God put us together. Because Lord knows, how that man found time for a date in the middle of peak season, is beyond me.
Since day one, I was committed, and I still am. Now that we have a toddler, we have 301 kids. My fourth year as “Band Wife” starts soon, and I pray that we continue to learn how to guide our family through the wild ride that takes place every fall.
Summer always seems to have a weird two-week period I like to call “Summergatory”. It’s where my husband hasn’t gone completely back to work yet, and the creeping feeling that those Friday Night Lights are upon us one more. Then when the band has their uniform collection day, that’s our own start of the year and our hearts and minds must prepare for the major shift that happens in our home. Happy New Year – less confetti and champagne, more blood, sweat and tears.
Don’t get me wrong, this is Texas, and being any part of the tradition, big or small, is an honor. But the transition is always hard. “Daddy Day Camp” during summer pales in comparison to day care, and two adults bearing the load is always simpler than the wild juggling act that I try to manage on my own.
Each year we try to weather the storm during Summergatory – we gather our last summer memories, his working hours grow longer and longer each day, and I realize, I’m losing my once-full-time partner again to his more-than-full-time job. We start to discuss social plans for the fall – what family events fit in, which do not. I start to lean on my planner, making sure our meals, bills, and all the routines that he helped alleviate during the summer are transferred seamlessly back to me.
There’s very few who have a full understanding of what it takes to get a team on the field for the game, a band or drill team for half time – let alone how to make it go off without a hitch. I think there’s even less understanding about the spouses of all these legends – there’s an entire army of us making sure that we respect the job while keeping the home fires burning. Perhaps that’s just it though – ignorance is bliss – sometimes understanding that the puppets have strings ruin the magic of the show.
There is no greater pride I feel when I see our band family take the field. For seven minutes, after hundreds of hours of work and sweat, I realize what all of the chaos in our household was meant for. Sure, there’s still a stain on my favorite sweater, I cannot seem to locate my son’s purple race car and cereal has replaced my real dinner. Watching my soulmate use his God-given talent along with hundreds of others beside him, makes my job worth it.
We are the silent army of wives who stand behind. Many who go without thanks, who watch the legacy build through the years as students come and go. Our part is to support and ensure that our husbands show up in their best form.
Here’s a huge dose of gratitude to the wives behind these leaders – Happy New Year!
Lesley Ann Jones is a band director’s wife in Katy, TX. She has one future tuba-playing son who just turned three. She works full-time as a business analyst in the Oil & Gas industry. When she’s not toddler-wrangling, she serves as the photography chair for the band and volunteers at church. In her spare time…wait….nevermind. Catch her snaps of band wife life at @crhsbandwife on Instagram.