Tuvalu Day

For Tuvalu Day there is always a parade.
I like parades very much.
And for the past couple of years, Middle has marched with the high school band.
So there's a double whammy of excitement for me.
But it's a busy day, with many exciting events to commemorate the celebration -
follow me if you will, and we'll see what we see...

As the day began, I was forced to help Middle determine what he would wear under his uniform.
His uniform, you see, is itchy itchy itchy - but jeans cannot be worn under it as it is fitted fitted fitted (and, really, the trick would be to somehow get a shot of him up close in the uniform as it is, by turns, hysterically adorable and very swank looking) involving pants that are quite narrow, as he is thin, and hit between his navel and his chest. These are paired with a short, crisply tailored jacket. Of course there is a priceless hat, coated completely in plastic - one would almost think the hat was dipped in a vat of molten plastic and then set out to cool.

Shorts and a long sleeved tee shirt were decided upon, and so, with that accomplished the next bit of business was to drive him to the school, where the uniform was donned, and then he was supposed to walk into town to a meeting place.
But, see, I have a problem with the walking through town part. In full uniform, with one's sax.
Isn't that anticlimactic? to see the entire band walking through town to the meeting place and then 30 minutes later watch them march back with their uniforms?
So I drove him and a friend of his from the old bar mitzvah circuit to the meeting place.
And then I flew home as all the streets were being closed and got on the scooter with K.
(K had spent the early morning picking up a lyre for Middle's sax as Middle lost his - but more on this later.)
I hopped on the scooter and we took an impossibly circuitous route into town to where Middle was meeting the rest of the band.
And because we embarrassed him thusly (by showing up on the scooter, which is exactly the same as showing up naked) he refused to take the lyre from us and insisted we meet him back at the school with it - after the parade.
Isn't this shaping up to be a long long story? well, don't worry - there will be pictures soon.
We scooted through many impassable streets and found our viewing spots.
But then, because we were early, we had to watch everyone walking through town to their meeting places...sigh.

band and...

There is no showmanship in THAT.
See? I don't want to watch the Tuvalettes walk down the block if I can SEE them do their routine during the marching five minutes later!


If I was one of these guys I would totally drum the whole way between the school and Kiwi Street...

drummers walking

Anyway, I got over it just in time to see the band leading the parade.


Then I started straining to see my Middle...

And it took a while...
and I was forced to run along side the band for a while -
Middle sax

but I found him.

You don't think it's awkward to have your mother photograph you while you are marching, do you?


He seems to smile as he plays when I find him -


Or maybe it's a grimace.
I don't care what you say anyway. He is too damn cute.

After the band -

back of band

there is the Queen of The Tuvalu Day Parade - who is different than the ACTUAL QUEEN in that she in high school.


And she is not Joan.

And she gets to ride in a red car - because red cars are special.

the queen


The raptor float frightens and delights the children - and chocolates are thrown from it to signify the day that men took the island from the beasts.

Finally, the great map of Italy makes its way down the street.

map of italy

with pipers serenading the map to signify the unity of Scot and Italian under the Tuvalan sunset.


Or something.

Then a mad dash around all the crowded streets to bring Middle the lyre.
I know he is a liar (ha!) and that he should have had it in the parade and can imagine him getting chewed out by the Maestro about not having it on the field...

After a crazy roundabout way through town and through police blockades, I find the band.
On the new turf (you can probably smell it from there).

band on turf

The problem?
The fence. (carefully shot through for the photo above)

cheerleaders and band

The fence and the security guards.
Except band members and cheerleaders.

And what are they playing? In practice for the big game?

play that funky music white boy

Which was fitting as our football team was playing the team from Ghana.
(And, in a surprise twist, WE WON.)

One of the guards was good enough to bring the lyre to another guard who brought it to a drum major who brought it to the Maestro who pulled Middle out of the line and handed it to him.

your lyre

You can just feel the embarrassment from here, can't you.
Being pulled out of the line and all?
Whilst the entire band waits for you to receive your lyre from your mommy?

Well, I figured that was all I could make Middle endure for one day -
and got back on the scooter and had K take me to see the famous red cars.
The red cars for Tuvalu Day...


And they were pretty...


but I had much more fun looking at chairs with him...but that's another story.


Paula said…
The tale of the lyre and Middle being pulled out in front of everyone? Poetic Justice I say for the affront to your cute scooter. That'll learn 'im
celestial opus said…
I was going to get all snarky that that trumpet players have spaghetti arms. Put your arms up guys! Trumpets don't weigh that much! Then I got caught by the boy in the superman tee twirling around the tree in absolute adorement (or perhaps heckling?) to the queen. But the best has to be the Drum Majors looking at you taking a picture through the fence with a look of "heh, thank god that's not my mom". Love it!
celestial opus said…
wait a minute here. I just realized that everyone in the band has their hair hanging down all willy nilly. What happened to tucking hair under the hats? Damn crazy kids these days.

(I'm much to enamored with this post. I'll leave now)
Anonymous said…
my first trumpet college roommate always wore silky pj bottoms under her itchy wool band pants. no one would have to know!
BabelBabe said…
gosh, he is cute. and he was grimacing in mortification, dear. but you did only what every mother would have done : )
Anonymous said…
That's not a grimace he is smiling with pride at the sight of his mum. Lovely parade. Do they make a lipstick in the colour of those cars?
Anonymous said…
Hey, mothers are there to embarrass band members and frankly, what with the uniforms and the hat and the red faces as they blow and walk in unison, what's a mother running alongside? It's payback for the years of renting/buying instruments, driving them to lessons, and the private tutors.

Loretta, mother of a former band student.
sara said…
Brings back such happy memories of my own days in marching band. Our uniforms were very similar, too...

Only the very best moms cared enough to photograph. The truly PSYCHO ones brought video cameras. And sang along with every note that their child honked, tweeted, or whistled.
Sharon said…
I love, love, love going home for Memorial Day to see the parade. It's so short that it goes by twice (and no, I am NOT kidding). I go with my two best friends, both of whom were in band with me 25 year ago, and we hoot and cheer and yell to the band director, who is the same director that we had. Then back to my parents' house for a cookout. It's probably my favorite day of the year. So Yay for parades! Thanks for this post bringing back all those happy thoughts.
girlsatplay said…
There's nothing like watching your kid march in a parade. I live in "Middle America" and for all of the stuff we miss out on by not living in an urban area, it's things like our homecoming parade that make living here worth while.
Thanks for the great pics!
(Check out my "Middle" from our parade)
Suse said…
I love that you ran alongside the band taking photos. And then had him hauled out of line to receive his lyre.

It is a parent's job to embarrass their offspring. You did your duty very well today.
marching bands! That is another thing I miss in France...the sound of the drums as they march in silence....your photos make me feel like I am there!!
Anonymous said…
plastic hats, dinosaurs, italy, bagpipes, white boys, girls with all the same length hair, and red cars? tuvalu is one weird-ass place! thanks for the tour.