Fall is for football and friendship, I hope

Indiana High School football team, circa 1921

Image via Wikipedia

Last night was our first foray into football this fall.  We went to the high school game here in town.  It was not crisp and cool as football should be…it was still 106 degrees when we arrived at 6:30, but the community was supportive, the crowd was a good size (although a little quiet for my liking).  The team looked good, but not yet great (which is fine for the first game of the year).  I didn’t see any injuries, not even cramping up in the horrendous heat, which is a prayer answered at any ballgame.  Best of all, from a football standpoint, we won!

** Please note that like a good coach’s wife, I described all the football before moving onto the mommy stuff.

SonShine had a blast!  After thoroughly enjoying his first week of jr. high school, his night was just the icing on his cake 🙂  He spent the entire game (with the exception of when he needed $$$ for the concession stand, of course) hanging out in the “student section” of the endzone with all his friends and classmates.  He was still riding his “first week high” when I tucked him into bed and said how happy I am that he is having such a fantastically great year already.

I, too, had fun sitting with friends, socializing at least as much as (maybe more than) actually watching the game.  I have had 16 years to perfect that art of juggling both activities, and I have to say, I am pretty good at it.  I can hold up a conversation, pause for breath while we make a quick interception, cheer, and continue on without missing a beat!

The only less-than-stellar part of the night was a nagging sense and saddening feeling that Angel Girl was a third wheel with her two school friends.  I hope and pray that they consider themselves her friends, anyway.  They were never rude or mean in any way, yet I couldn’t help but get the impression that Angel Girl wasn’t completely welcome into their twosome.  She tagged along anyway, and she sat with them trying to interject herself into their conversation when possible, but I could tell by everyone’s body language that having her there was not a good thing in their minds.  It was so obvious (and painful) that I felt compelled to mentioned it to one of the girls’ moms…”Please let me know if the girls would like Angel Girl to give them a little space; she really enjoys hanging out with them, but I know they are very close and might like to have some time just the two of them.”  That wasn’t easy!  Finding a polite way to phrase “Look, let me know if your kids don’t want mine around” is a trifle difficult.  She, of course, was a sweetheart saying that it is good for them all to have time with new friends.  That is 100% true, but my heart still broke a little every time I glanced down the bleachers in Angel Girl’s direction.  She is very in tune with feelings and people’s behavior, so while she had her game face on (a big beautiful smile), I know she felt out of place and a bit left out all night long, and that is really hard for a momma to sit and witness 😦

It’s not a question of popularity.  I don’t need for Angel Girl to be the center of attention, but no parent wants their child to be the one the other kids are trying to shake.  I feel for her especially because in 6 years, this is the very first time Angel Girl has EVER returned to the same school campus two years in a row.  Literally: every year she has had to start fresh, meeting new people, making new friends.  This is the first time she is not a New Kid which is great, but it also means that while she knows kids from last year, she still does not have that BEST friend to sit with at the games, invite to sleepovers, and look forward to seeing on the rare occasions when they are not together.

I had that in school, and while CC and I don’t talk often and haven’t seen one another in years, I still feel our bond is so strong that I can call her up without hesitation for any old reason and pick up exactly where we left off last time.  I want that friend for Angel Girl, so I hope, and I pray every single night, that this fall will be for both football AND friendship

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