My high school was so small that when I was a freshman, the administration realized we simply didn’t have enough boys to go out for the football team. So they cancelled football. Yay? Well, yes, yay for me because I was in the band and that meant that when we had a football team, we had to play during the game.
So I only had to deal with one year of high school football before they did away with that particular torgure at my high school.
Alas, even though Alyssa’s school is almost as small as mine was, they grow those farm boys bigger and more aggressive twenty miles to the east of where I grew up. So yes, Lyss’s school has a football team.
Last weekend, the junior high band was invited to play with the high school band during the halftime of the football game.
Alyssa was excited for so many things. Of course she was excited to play with the high school band but she was also excited to spend an evening with her friends in the bleachers, to go to an actual football game. She’d never attended one before, because, duh, I didn’t want to go and Tom’s not a big fan of watching a game where he knows exactly no one on the team.
So seventh grade was the first year she attended a high school football game.
I drove her to the school at 5:00 because that’s when the band had to be there. I then went home, made dinner for Olivia, napped for fifteen minutes, because, um, I could. And then at 6:15, I headed back to the school.
See, I wanted to be there to watch Alyssa and the band play. Of course I did. My first born was playing in the marching band. It was a big deal. At least to me.
But this meant I had to endure the first half of the stinking football game before she’d take the field with her trusty flute.
I stood to the side of the bleachers and pretended to watch the game occasionally but mostly, I tried to stay out of the way of people who were obviously there to actually watch the game. It was so boring. It was also loud and the first half seemed to last for freaking ever.
With about five minutes left in the game, the elementary school secretary walked up to me. See, her mom and my mom are neighbors and they used to commute to work together before they both retired. So we have a vague connection outside of school. Let’s call her Mrs. A since her last name actually starts with an A. I’m clever like that, you know.
Mrs. A found me standing in my stupor of boredom and asked me, “Please tell me I’m not the only one who loathes things like this.”
It was as if I were Anne Shirley and had just caught of glimpse of Diana Berry across the lawn at the garden party. Mrs. A and I were instant bosom friends as we bonded of just how awful football is.
Actually, we bonded over how much we both hate almost every organized sport.
She was there for the same reason I was, her daughter is in the junior high band and yay, they were both playing that night.
The five minutes left in the first half took at least twenty minutes to pass and finally…FINALLY, the band took the field. We laughed over how H, Mrs. A’s daughter is probably smaller than the instrument she was playing and how flipping loud the piccolo was. We marveled over the dedication shown by the football players and cheerleaders who were also in the band. It was cool to see kids who didn’t choose between activities. Those kids were showing everyone that you can do it all if you want.
I didn’t want, though. I wanted to go home.
But, because I’m an awesome mom (in my head, please don’t burst my bubble) when they were all done and we’d told the kids how awesome they were, I asked Lyss if she wanted to stay and hang out with her friends or if she was ready to go home.
Bless her, she said, “Ugh, let’s go home. Football is so boring!”
That’s my girl.