And the Bands Beat On….

My daughter plays clarinet in the band. Her school’s so small the band is both middle and high school, younger kids mixed in with the kids who are driving and working jobs and on the cusp of grownupness. It reflects the small town kind of world we live in, that, by the nature of its size, encourages acceptance. I linked up with a woman I’ve known since our oldest kids were nursing babies, 20 years ago.

Twenty school bands from all over the state played in a parade last night in Montpelier. As I walked around the high school, looking for my daughter, the evening sun in my eyes, I followed the tunes from one band to another. So much live music! So many kids!

For that brief time — the best of parenting. Laughter and silliness in the heady May evening, beneath trees just barely beginning to leaf out. I drove my hungry kid home, listening to her, as we drove through the dusk tumbling down, back to our house and the cats at the door, mewling for affection.


By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.


  1. Ah, moments like this seem so fleeting as we watch our kids grow up. Recently a friend told me that we use the word nest for home—in relation to our kids, but instead of nesting them in we should be preparing a chute to launch them safely out into the world. I’m thinking, maybe a feathered chute… 🙂

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