This is Texas. There are only two things to know about Texas. It’s hot, and football is king.
Now some people will tell you that to appreciate Texas you’ve gotta know the proper use of the word y’all.
Some people might think it’s important to recognize that Texas is the only state that has the right to become it’s own country.
And there are Texans who are die-hard believers that everything is bigger and better around here.
But the truth is, if you just understand football, everything else falls to the wayside.
Around here, Football is bigger than religion. You can be forgiven for missing Church on Sunday morning, but you best be in that stadium on Friday night. You see, everyone is free to worship God in whatever way they see fit, but you can only root for one team, your team! And today is the big day…
All across Texas young boys said goodbye to summer and hello to 2-a-days. They grabbed their water bottles and their Gatorade and headed for the weight rooms. They stood in line while pads were issued and helmets were tried on. They knew they’d be lucky to escape the heat without throwing up. Meanwhile the marching band is gathered together to learn the fight song, the drill team is working on all the right moves, and the cheerleaders are perfecting their pyramids.
The moms are getting together their fanfare. We’ve got our blingy flip flops and our football mom shirts that proudly say which boys we’re screaming for.
Just four years ago, I sat at the “Meet the Tigers” pep rally and watched my Blondie do her first dance routine– a scared little freshman who could barely remember to smile. Last year, I watched as she led the dance team onto the field every Friday night. It was just the blink of an eye and she was grown, and our Friday nights of watching her at halftime came to an end. Now I dropped her little brother off at 6:30 in the morning for his first day of high school football. My “Dyl Pickles” is headed to the big time.
I’ve learned a few things about how this is gonna go down. This is the moment when I have to realize there are choices that are his to make (no matter how much nagging I do). There is a course that is his to steer (no matter how much guidance I offer). There is a journey that won’t always include me (no matter how hard I try to be a part of it). He’s not gonna let me micro manage him the way I wish I could, but I’m still gonna be standing on the sidelines, with his name on the back of my shirt, and no matter how fast the next four years fly by, I won’t forget to say “That’s my boy!”
I know God only loaned me these children, and they aren’t mine to keep, but I gotta say when I started out with dirty diapers waking me up at 3 in the morning, I sure thought 18 years would last much longer than in does! It won’t be long before I take the last one to high school. But even when they’ve all passed through the last of the cinder block hallways, even when they’ve all donned a cap and gown, even when they’ve all said goodbye to this little town, I’ll still spend my Friday nights at Tiger Field, cheering for all the kids who are willing to get up at 6am on a summer day, head into the hundred degree heat, and give it their all just to be a part of something more…
And I’ll still pull out the pictures and think of the days when my babies were the ones on that fifty yard line. After all, their mom was a Band Nerd…