Monday, October 18, 2010

The Freshman

"Mom, Are you coming to the football game?"  she asked me.  I could fill a book with the many times my daughter would ask if we were coming to a particular football game or orchestra performance. From a musical theatre production or jazz concert, to a competition, a show, a play, or even a church mass.... the answer was almost always YES.  Chris and I have attended more musical events that included Rebecca than we can probably remember.  And I have a drawer filled with programs to prove it!  Admittedly we were more enthusiastic for some events than for others.... depending on whether we had gotten enough sleep the night before with child #5 insisting on hogging the bed and kicking us in the head.

From the first time she picked up a trombone Rebecca was and continues to be an enthusiastic musician.  As she grew musically, we grew as well.  As she learned new pieces, we had them memorized right along with her, as she struggled with her competitions, we quietly prayed that she would earn a fair score.  Life with Becca has been filled with song and it continues to this day as she pursues a music degree at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC).   She is The Freshman.

Seeing that she asked me this question recently got me thinking of how different it is now that she is in college and doing musical things there.  While she is close to home, we understandably don't see her as much as we did when she lived at home.  We talk more on the phone than we did when she was in high school and we (I) use Facebook more to see how she is doing. (What did she do today?  Did she get some fruit in her diet? Is she eating too many Krispy Kreme doughnuts?).  We don't hear her practicing anymore from her third floor bedroom, and we don't have as many musical performances to attend.  On a happier note, the place is roomier without all her instruments all over the place and we can walk without tripping over some large brass horn left near the hall.   

But when she asked me if I was coming to Kenan Stadium for the first home UNC football game to watch her perform with the UNC band, I was not going to miss seeing her in her blue uniform marching with a college band! Hey that was new and different!  She a college girl now.

The day came when I was going to see her for the first time marching with the band and well, nothing properly prepares you for the moment when you spot your freshman child through thousands of fans, drums pumping, fans yelling, school pride bursting all around you.  When you get a glimpse of your child, your heart seemingly stops beating for a second and you stop breathing.  As you rush to get a better look at her, everything around you gets blurry and all you can  focus on is her.  Who cares if you knock over an old lady using her walker....she should recognize a mom on a mission, right?  When you finally get close enough that she can see you, your eyes meet and you exchange smiles.  You wave enthusiastically, but she can't because she is in uniform and is in formation with the rest of the band.  She saw you, and she knows you are there.  That is the number one goal of a parent; making sure they see you so that they know they are loved.  Relief.

Then you watch as she raises her horn up to play, with a trombone section three times the size she played with in high school. The sound coming from the band is impressive, booming and strong!...and they start to march....away from you, leading the crowd in enthusiastic song and cheers.  You run to follow the band so that you can get a few pictures of the moment, but the tears streaming down your face cause a glare in the camera and the pictures you get are not the best.  But they will have to do. Your husband catches up to you and puts his arm around you as you try not to make a spectacle of yourself sobbing with pride. 

The rest of the afternoon is spent not necessarily watching the football game, but watching her.  When do they move to the field? What are the songs they play to distract the opposing team? Is she getting hot over there in the sun?  All those silly questions pop up and distract you as you watch from afar. Oh, and what's the score again?

After the day is passed, you marvel at just how beautifully and wondrously made your children are.   How God's amazing grace penetrates through occasions such as these and surprises you with a rare gift of unexplainable joy and how eternally grateful you are for having the opportunity to be a small part of what your child will one day become.  

You GO Becca!!


Anonymous said...

Oh wow... I can't wait to show this to Tim tomorrow. He loves keeping up with your family! He still fondly remembers visiting you all (minus Henry) BEFORE Rebecca's 3rd floor bedroom was finished. Good luck as college parents! We're just starting our journey with the eldest in Kdg. :-) --Catherine Pigg

Dietta Slayton said...

Beautiful, Georgie! and way to go Becca.

Georgie Tamayo Clemens said...

Dee...brings back memories of UT and those awesome football games eh? Come and visit sometime and we'll get you in..