Yesterday my husband and I drove two hours up I-5 to watch our son perform. We walked about 4 miles and stood shivering in the rain. We were with hundreds of other parents doing the same. Our son was on the field for maybe 16 minutes total, standing on a tall shaky ladder held steady by other devoted parents, sprinting across the field to his next position, and saluting the cheering crowd. Along with three other students he lead the Roseburg Marching Ensemble in their first of three band competitions of the season…. and we were there to watch.
We watched our child and probably close to 1000 other children rock out to drums on the field, give each other high fives and applaud when other teams were recognized for their success. As the bands marched by each other they wished them luck, said ‘good show’ and shouted words of encouragement to their competition. Parents cheered for their children’s school and for every other band that competed.
In contrast we were at a football game a few Fridays ago. As we sat in the ‘Home Teams’ section of the stands there was plenty of room. Our stands have not been filled with home team supporters for many years. The visiting team had far more supporters and were tightly packed into their section. There was a security man standing at the point where the visiting section became the home section. A family arrived a bit late and was struggling to find a place to squeeze into the visitors section. He could see that there was plenty of space in our section. He was stopped by security and told he couldn’t sit in our section because ours was reserved. The fan went away to search further but came back and asked again – still the security said ‘sorry’… they were having a calm discussion when I came down from my seat, stuck out my hand to the visiting fan… ‘Wow, it’s great to see you! What took you so long.’ He looked at me a bit confused. ‘I have seats saved for you right next to us.’ He had five people in his group. ‘We have plenty of room.’ We made new friends that night and hopefully they went home and said they met some nice people in Roseburg…
‘Who is your child?’… of course I answered, ‘We’re with the band.’