Friday, August 29, 2008

The Pep Rally

I got to Gage's school today very early to pick him up, I was first in line for the car riders. I was alone...which can mean, alone, with a notebook and pen...
I watch as the children line up for what appears to be a possible pep rally. Some kids were wearing jerseys, bearing the school name or mascot. Girls wore their cheerleading uniforms, all under the age of ten or so.......and my mind starts to drift.....
Being a former cheerleader, I remember how loud the gymnasium would get as the faculty and students would fill the echoey space. The cadence from the percussion section of the band would summon the football team to their reserved seats. The pride filling their veins could be felt by all. As we chanted, as we stomped, we knew these two hundred pound men (sometimes heavier) would align themselves along the front lines of our school battles every Friday night. They loved it, in fact they hungered for it.......for a brief moment, I'm back in reality as I see my little guy entering the gym. His jersey hanging below his knees, but pride makes him put it on every Friday. For a moment, my mommy instincts kick in and I want to jump out of the car and run turn down his processor for him, or adjust his program so he can hear better inside that huge room full of students. I use every pound in my body to hold me down(there's plenty of poundage, trust me), every muscle flexed so my arm is against my body and not reaching for the door handle. I want him to hear the full experience and feel the emotions and taste the excitement. As he disappears into the building, reality slips from me once again, giving way to memory....
I realize how important music was in "firing us up" for game time. We as cheerleaders would pile into a car and ride for an hour or more before games to set the mood with whatever music the driver chose. We would listen and sing and dance our way, eventually, to the stadium. Football players could be seen with their headphones (pre-ipod days) listening to their own music to help them arrive to that perfect mental state they needed to be in before they crashed their bodies into other giant boys in hopes of moving their team closer to the end zone. The cheers and chants from fans was enough to keep them going, they could hear the band as they scored and they could hear the silence when injured. To us, it didn't matter if we won or lost, it was the pre-game excitement that brought us back each week. And as reality creeps up on me once again, I realize how lucky we are that Gage gets to enjoy all the pregame excitement. He'll never be on the front lines of a football field(no contact sports for ci kids)but he'll be right in the middle-getting fired up by the cheerleaders (I know, I know, in more ways than one, one of these days) getting fired up by the music, the band, the fans.
When school lets out, I put down my pen and paper, watch for my pint sized little boy to come out. I'm thinking he's gonna jump in with all this pep rally excitement but instead, he hops in the car and says..."I'm very upset today"
I ask why and he tells me that his best friend is moving and today was his last day. As his voice cracks, wondering if he'll have anyone to play with when he returns next week, something ironic occurs... AC/DC's Back in Black comes on the radio. "Oh, turn it up, AC/DC" he says, and his mood is immediately changed. He's so fired up by the song that by the time we pull out of the school parking lot, he's named his new best friend and all is well.


Dustin, Heather and Gavin said...

My name is Heather Frost.
My son is deaf he is 19 months old. Just recieve his first implant.
I would like to invite you to visit my blog and feel free to leave comments. We are in the same boat maybe we could become friends!

I like your Picture up at the top It's Great!

Tiffani said...

Thanks, Val, for the post on my blog. That is a very good point, and Riley's therapist and TOD have already talked to the teacher and plan to observe.

I'm glad you're around to help me out here. :-)