Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Game

Like I said yesterday, we were determined to get to the football game last night.  We made it! But first, we got one of these at school.

Yes, he had a wonderful day at school!  He was so good that he even got free time to play with the other kids, then got to choose a toy from the treasure chest.  We are so proud of our little guy!  Being good will wear you out, though.  He keeps falling asleep in the van on the way to Waco.  

We waited in the coolness of the van until we heard the drumline.  In Texas, we don't just run higgledy-piggledy to the stands.  We march into the stands in a single file line.  Some of these traditions, like marching into the stadium are so professional and just flat awesome!  I just love Texas band.  Love it.  

Friday night in the south is more than an institution, especially in small towns.  You just go to the game.  There's no question.  You dress up in all your school-spirited bling (yes, there is a large market for this, and yes, people pay crazy amounts of money to be outfitted in the perfect Goat bling.  And yes, I just capitalized Goat.), haul in your stadium seat, say hello to everyone on the way in, and head to your seats.  

The athletes and cheerleaders are the town rock stars.  Most dream of having their little boy as the starting quarterback or their daughter the head cheerleader.  I'd say that most of the stereotypical idea of the importance of football in a small town is definitely accurate.  And down here, we take our marching band pretty seriously, too.  

But before I launch into how many thousands of dollars and hours of work we put into just the contest show and how insanely important marching contest, and our bi-annual shot at advancing to the area, then hopefully state contest, I have to stop myself.  I could go on forever about band; it was my first love. I've jumped up and down and celebrated the superior ratings, and I've dried the frustrated, painful tears of kids who came just this close, but a judge made a decision, and that was that.  Just trust me that it's crazy important.  As with anything, it varies from place to place, but it's still important. 

The band was in a different place than usual, and honestly, I was loving it!  It was rather enclosed and it was easier to keep a lock on each of the kids, although Ryan did manage to take off a few times.  Four to be exact.  But the rest of the time, we did this: 

No, these aren't our uniforms... they're our "we love our kids more than our band uniforms" uniforms.  We do our best to keep the kids safe in the heat.  And boy, was it hot! 

Down here, you see my favorite baritone player, J, and my little princess.  Mae about flipped at getting to see her in action!  And what a low brass section!  Nice big sound, but no overblowing nastiness.  

Richie ran up and down the stands, dancing and playing with the other band directors' kids who aren't yet old enough to be in high school band. And oh, how he loved stealing some moments with his Daddy!  In this shot, you can sort of see why we were in a different place.  Something about construction on expanding the visitors' stands. 

Ryan spent most of his time down in front with the directors.  They brought him the treat of a special drum with a practice pad, so he got to play along with the big kids! 

I can't tell you how much fun it was to watch all the kids.  Maelynn and Richie danced and drank in all the things I have always hoped my kids would.  Just like this: 

And Ryan went above and beyond.  While the kids reminded me to savor the experience, Ryan helped me see it in a completely new light.

He not only played the downbeats, a few rolls, and some more little things with bad hand position, but he was watching the drumline and trying to copy them. For real.  Not that he got terribly close, but he was trying!  And it wasn't just the drumming.  

High school and college bands always seem to have at least a couple of things they chant and cheer with.  After the first run of "Go Goats, Go!" Ryan decided to yell just that, with much enthusiasm!  The flute girls about lost it!  Everyone was so proud of him, and just seemed to enjoy all the kids.  

And I gotta brag on my husband's drumline.  They let Ryan hang out around them.  They tried to keep him out of trouble.  They even took some sticks to the hands and face, accidentally of course, just trying to help Ryan hang out and fit in.  All with a sincere smile. 

We had our rough moments.  During the last part of the second quarter, the band goes to the end zone track to warm up.  Ryan spent most of the second quarter and half time bolting to get to the field.  So most of half time was varying degrees of meltdown, but on the whole?  

Completely successful.  The kids were dirty, sweaty, filthy, and exhausted.  We got home after waiting in traffic at about 10:45, and I slid them all through the bath with a thorough scrubbing, and Daddy got in just in time to put them to bed about 11:15.  I was exhausted, sweaty, and ready to fall over too.  The day was long, with much to do and a trip to Waco and back, and cookies to bake... but it was all too worth it. 

This morning, first thing, as Ryan crawled out of bed, know what he said?  

"You want to go to the football game!"

And we've heard it all day.  Our next home game is in two weeks.  I'm not sure they can wait that long!

"You have given him his heart's desire and have not withheld the request of his lips." Selah  Psalm 21:2

So many times, He's given me what I wanted before I could express it in words.  This is no exception. 

Thanks be to God!


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