Saturday, November 6, 2010

The kindness of strangers

Tonight was the last home football game of the season at our local Jr college. Lian has had a blast this season. He has learned a lot about football. He has learned the rules from Dad. From fellow spectators, he has learned that there all kinds of different ways to say "referee", and he has learned from mom that several are not repeatable by seven year old boys. 

What he is really excited about though are the cheerleaders. The women are vivacious and pretty and fly high in the air. The men are tall and strong and LOUD!!! This week he went prepared with construction paper poms poms and a homemade megaphone that had been decorated to read RCC on the sides to go along with his signature tiger tail. Excitement was high for the game tonight. There won't be anymore home athletic games for us until January. The only dark spot was when we realized that we forgot the camera. The batteries were charged and the card was empty and it was sitting next to the computer being useless. It wasn't a really big deal. I do enjoy taking pics of the boys enjoying the game and while I enjoy posting my pics of game and cheering, it's not like they don't already have half a dozen photographers with much better equipment covering the game.  We decided not to go back home to get it. Home by the way, is less than two minutes away by car but  we were  already really running late.

So we found our seats in the usual section, centered on the field.  The cheerleaders are right in that area too but mostly we sit there for the best view of the band at half time (you know the band is good when no one leaves for food and potty breaks until after the half time show). Usually the boosters sell the programs and the raffle tickets but tonight the cheer and dance squad had members doing it. It was big night for them. They had had a spirit clinic for young kids earlier in the day and the money from the raffle was earmarked for them this week. We had actually tried to get Lian into the clinic since it was open to everyone and mostly for fun, but we couldn't get the $45 payment in time. Lian was excited to show them his pom poms and megaphone. They told him that they saw him each week and loved that he cheered along with them. He has the entire aisle right over the causeway to the locker room, to move around in without disturbing others and he spends each game with arms flailing and voice screeching all the cheers . He was flying high off of that praise for the whole first quarter and he cheered louder than ever. In the second quarter the kids from the clinic were taken onto the field to cheer with the squad. It was the big payoff for taking part in the clinic. They were absolutely adorable. Then two of the cheerleaders  came up to the stands and asked if they could take Lian down to the field too. They let him use their megaphone, which is almost as tall as he was. He had one of the guys helping him call the cheers and at different times was lifted onto tall shoulders to shout it out loud. He also got to stand next to the dancer he has totally been in love with since he first saw her at the tailgate party at the first home game. 

What a time to have forgotten the camera. It was enough to know I left it at home, all the while being reminded of it by that section's usual fans who kept asking me if I was getting pictures. Even they thought it was odd I didn't have my camera in hand. Doh! Finally, some nice young man behind us took a pic with his phone and texted it to me.

 So for the kindness of strangers I am thankful. I am thankful to the nice young ladies who came up and asked Lian to join them and the rest of the sweet cheerleaders who helped him through the cheers he hadn't learned, like the other kids, and who were willing to let him show his natural enthusiasm and endure his propensity for endless chatter. Also, for the patient football fans who put up with Lian's incessant cheering through each home game when he is usually the youngest child there and then put up with his fussiness when the over stimulation of the game finally over takes him. All of these photos from previous games are great, but I am really thankful for the awesome young man who took the only picture record we will have of this event in my son's life that he describes as better than "one hundred Halloweens combinded".

Oh yeah, the team totally won the the game. We are now 8-1 and I do believe we won our division tonight. Go Tigers!

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