I thought my days of After School Care Parent Appreciation events were over. Thankfully, they were not!
After work, you pull up to the school, show your appropriate ID, and pick up your kid or kids. That’s not all of it. On day X/Y/Z you return to be “appreciated,” entertained, and fed most kid’s favorite, chicken fingers and chips.
With bassist and singer, Julie Klein, my non-parent place in all of this was to meet with a group of 12 year old girls before the show and help them flesh out the beat and song key to 4 songs they had composed. Guitar chords would be a bonus.
Twelve year old girls have it all goin’ on at the same time, YouTube moves, split second changes in facial expression, bursts of energy, giggles, and in this case, a desire to perform …capital “P,” lest nerves get the best of them.
With parents arriving, Julie on bass, Rich Williams on drums, and me on guitar, performed 8 original songs (calling ourselves Outside In).
The Program Director’s goal was to set a creative tone with a live band playing original compositions. I think we passed the audition. A local production company filmed the entire event and kept the show rolling, introducing each group of kids as they presented skits, slide shows, computer generated cartoon shows (how do you do that?), and finally the girl’s songs.
Pride, grace, and patience were in abundance. Parents always seem to be grateful when little Johnny and Juanita are showcased. Plus, quality After School Care is a must for working parents, which is just about everybody. Worthy of note, these kids are not just playing hop-scotch, they are exercising and developing their artistic gifts, in addition to team and community building skills. All good stuff.
Two personal notes: 1) Playing music with and for kids was refreshing and wonderful. 2) The day’s events brought back some warm memories of my own days of attending After School Care Parent Appreciation Events. No doubt I grinned then as much as these parents did. As I said in the mic at one point, “It’s all about the kids.”.”