The boys attend just the greatest school - that is why it was so difficult to transfer them and why I ultimately chose not to move in with Sam last winter. Having made the decision to stay here so the boys can finish high school, I'm resigned to that fact. I remember my therapist telling me there were pros and cons to moving or staying - that ultimately whatever decision I made would be the "right" one.
School has been back in session now for a week and the first home football game was tonight - last week was a practice scrimmage. My oldest had to get to school early this morning because there is a parade in the hallways for all home games. The band drum line leads all the varsity players around the school hallways at the start of school. How wonderful is that! I've never heard of another school doing that! Before every game too, they are fed a catered dinner!
Then tonight, at the game, the drum line leads the team out again in a long procession starting at the hill by the baseball fields and progressing down to the football field. You hear the drum cadence from a distance and I always get goose bumps! My son related that he had goosebumps being in the procession too! The drums get louder and the drummers and team then march through a huge, long tunnel made up of the rest of the band, the cheerleaders, dance team and JV players. The starting line-up is announced and the boys run through this giant banner - there are also plenty of giant flags being waved on the field, along with a dressed-up mascot.
My youngest son, who runs varsity cross country and isn't playing football got dressed up tonight to lend his support as a "superfan." The theme for this game was "rednecks." The students were dressed in flannel shirts, torn jeans, bandanas and straw hats. The kids in the stands put on their own show. As we all walked up the steps into the stands, they made an arch with their arms over us and cheered everyone in. Some of the boys were shirtless and covered with body paint. Their cheers and antics were almost as enjoyable as the game!
Whenever our team made a touchdown, two cheerleaders ran in front of the stands carrying a huge flag. They were followed by three of the "rednecks" carrying smaller flags. Everyone was pumped and in high spirits.
My son had a decent amount of playing time and made some plays - his name was announced over the loud speaker. He was also the defensive captain and relayed all the plays from the coach to the players. When I see him in that role, my chest swells. I was proud of both my boys tonight. And very happy that they are so popular with many friends. It is a consolation that despite all that has happened, they have thrived and flourished in school.
Tonight I just tried not to dwell on sitting alone and did my best to focus on why I was there - to support my terrific sons. The fall sports booklet was being sold by the boosters and I purchased one for $2.00. All the team photos are in the book and my oldest as a senior had his photo and name printed individually. Both of my boys are handsome and photogenic. They represent their school as leaders, each in his own way. And attending tonight's game I held my head up - all of us were winners tonight, not only the team.