On Saturday, I chaperoned my son’s Band Competition trip. They competed with other bands in their 2A Class at another high school north of us. It was a hot and tiring day; but the kids were terrific and placed 2nd in their class and received a 1st place for their Color Guard. Overall, it was a great experience with a lot of younger, freshman competing for the first time.
At the end of the evening, the leaders come on field for awards presentation. I had moved from where our band was in the stands to the otherside of the field’s bleachers in order to take photos for the event. As the 2nd to last band performed, I waiting with our kids and one of them told me he wished I was his mom. I was stunned. I gave him a hug and told him I loved him.
For me, it’s easy to love these kids. I am their cheerleader, mom, task master, shoe tying, instrument holder, jacket zipping, water giving volunteer! And I love it! I have taken them to the movies, out to eat, hosted parties at my home, cooked for them and just given out hugs where needed. I listen to them without judging and I give gentle suggestions when needed. No child is turned away from this loving momma. Need a hug? I got one for you!
So, upon hearing this declaration, I was touched. I was also shocked. This young man has a mom and dad; but I learned today that his mom is 30 minutes from where we competed Saturday and he is currently living with dad locally. That his mom, despite being so close to the event, couldn’t even care enough to attend. My heart hurts. He hasn’t seen her in months and I hurt for him.
I was telling my son this on the bus, just before heading back that night and a gal in a seat next to us stated that she, also wished I was her mother. WTH? From the sadness in her eyes, I knew she was also hurting and I smiled and told her that I loved her. I later found out that she has a horrible home life and though there isn’t any physical abuse, you can tell she’s dealing with a lot emotionally. A friend of my son’s told me that she is a Junior, has no cell phone or internet access, isn’t allowed to have friends over and her parents are very strict when it comes to what she can and can’t do. Her parents also “forced her to come out of the closet” when she identified herself as a lesbian. Though none of what I have stated about her home life is truly terrible in and of itself, I cannot help but think that whether my child is gay, straight, bi or whatever, it isn’t anyone’s business but his and who am I to tell him to announce it to all and sundry?
I have, in the past, listened to these kids cry on my shoulder for hurts and heartaches and even though my son is a Senior this year, I do believe that I will still be here for those he’ll leave behind. His very good friend has already told me he was going to call me and invite me to games and competitions next year, so I had better be prepared. LOL!
I may only have given birth to one child; but my heart is filled with love and compassion for all these other young lives. I adore them. I remember my son telling me that one of the Seniors last year was telling him how he didn’t like to be touched or hugged and my son reminded him that he hugged me all the time. This young man told my son that he does it for me; because he knows I need it. LOL! I think that worked both ways. He never missed an opportunity to give me one. 😀
It’s been a great 4 years. I love watching these young people go from tentative playing/marching to full on completed shows and victory!!! Their hard work and effort really shows by the last night and I am there, cheering them on and showing my love and support.
The band director spoke to our bus and I asked him if I could say something. When I spoke, I told them, as a 4 yr band mom, I was proud of them, they did great for their 1st Comp. and I could hardly wait to see the completed show and watch how far they’ll go. They then screamed out that they loved me and we left to go home after a long, exhausting day.