My sons are Windsor Yellow Jackets. Every Saturday afternoon, we all don our green and gold and head to the football field -- some of us to play, some to coach, and some to cheer our team on. I love watching them on our beautiful home field in the center of town, with the majestic Mt. Ascutney as the backdrop. But sometimes we play far away… really far away. The first game of the season was a stone’s throw from Canada! Still though, we got in our cars and drove up to watch them do their thing. Windsor parents seem to travel in larger numbers to away games than any other school I know, and I don’t feel like there’s anything they’d rather be doing on a Saturday afternoon in September.
Last week, at our home opener, I helped with team breakfast -- grateful for every last sweaty "thank you" hug, then I went down to the field early so that I could chat with my friends and watch the boys warm up. (Fact: nothing feels longer than the walk from the car to the bleachers on the Saturday after a chemo infusion.) While I was pretty convinced that I was going to throw up at some point before the last whistle (I didn't), I was so happy to be there. I saw teachers that have worked in the same school as the boys since their early elementary years there to watch “their kids” play. The moms that I sat and laughed with happily walked over to the concession stand twice to get me a snack and a water. I yelled louder than anyone when my son, one of four captains, walked out to the middle of the field for the coin toss, and I didn’t really stop yelling until he threw his last pass.
At some point in the game, I looked to my right and saw these folks:
Some of them go to my church. Some of them are good friends of the boys’ dad. Some of them used to go to Windsor High School and have been out for a while. Technically, none of them have kids on the team. Except, if you ask them, they will say that they do. Because they are Max and Dalton’s family.
When I start to contemplate their future and worry about leaving my children, I think about their coaches, teachers, teammates, the football moms, and these many friends that they have throughout this community and I breathe a sigh of relief. My anxiety doesn’t go away, of course, but it is lessened because of this family that we’ve developed over our years in this school, this church and this town.
I'm leaving now to get down to the varsity girls' soccer game because I want to be the teammate to my friends' kids that all those mentioned above have been to my boys and myself.
My sons are Windsor Yellow Jackets and so am I.