Daily Archives: March 27, 2012

The Phony “War on Women”

Well said, Patrick.

Star Wars! Performed by Some 400 Young Artists

We are a family that is very much into music. I assume most families are; though I could be wrong about that. I, personally, have no musical talents; never played an instrument in school or otherwise. My talent is limited to downloading it and then performing terrible karaoke while I’m in the car by myself. It sounds pretty good to me, though

Alexis & Brookie, however, have both been in band through school..

Alexis was a percussionist for four years. This past year she decided to get out of the school program, become a guitarist and start a band with her friends. She told me they’re gonna be the next big thing. To be continued….

Brooke is a second year flutist. She plays well but, unfortunately, is considering an early retirement; as soccer takes up a lot of her free time. We shall see…

Every year, the bands from a couple of the middle schools get together at the high school – with the high school bands – ¬†for what is called the Festival of Bands. Tonight’s was the 47th annual installment.

Honestly, these concerts used to bore me; but not any more. I am amazed how much progress the artists make from age 10 all the way up to age 17. It’s cute to listen to the 5th graders attempt to stay in time with each other… then it progresses to the high school wind ensemble who are absolutely fantastic.

There were eight bands present tonight. One was combined fifth graders from, I think, seven elementary schools schools.

Two were sixth graders (Brookie’s band) from two different middle schools.

(In white) Fifth graders to the rear, Brookies band rear & to the right and Edwards sixth & seventh graders in front. Click to see full size.

Two were combined seventh & eighth graders from the same two middle schools.

(In white) Visintainer sixth graders in the rear and Visintainer seventh & eighth graders in the front. Click to see full size.

Then there were three high school bands; Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.

Concert band in the rear, Symphonic Band center and Wind Ensemble up front. Click to see full size.

Each band played two songs of their own and then the finale was all eight bands together playing Star Wars. It’s a bit slow, probably so the younger artists can keep up, but I think it’s pretty awesome. Check it out:

How I’m Raising My Girls… Or Failing At It

This past Friday was a very difficult day for my oldest daughter Alexis, myself and the rest of our family.

I wrote 2,500+ words detailing the events of that day; and some events leading up to it. I damn near published it yesterday and then decided it was better if I didn’t. That post will forever sit in my drafts. I think I wrote it for myself in an effort to maintain some sort of sanity.

I miss the days of my girls arguing about who isn’t sharing… who isn’t playing fair… who knocked over the bubbles….

But, dammit, they grow up and are faced with challenges of their own; in school and with their friends. Sometimes they fend off those challenges and, unfortunately, sometimes they succumb.

Alexis succumbed.

It all made me question if I’m a good Dad at all. I’ve always taught my girls about doing right and not doing wrong. In this case, Alexis chose wrong and was put in harms way.

She is fine. And she will be fine moving forward.

I think there was a point on Friday when both of us were ready to throw in the towel.

But us Barnes’ don’t give up. We learn from everything. We use that knowledge to move forward as better people.

It kills me to see my little girls get hurt. But they ain’t little girls any more. They’re growing up faster than I can keep up with.

I’m happy that the worst wasn’t the outcome on Friday.