Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More Pumpkin Goo or Why I Miss My Sister

Somebody had the brilliant idea to raise funds for the football cheerleaders. The final game of the regular season, Senior Night, was on Halloween night. Each Mom was asked to pay for the privilege of gutting a pumpkin and carving her darling son's number into it. The pumpkins would be on display, bordering the field on game night, as we brought our season to its undefeated end. And the cheerleaders would use the funds...for whatever they needed all that money for. OUR Young Son's response to the whole thing was "Are you KIDDING me?" Silly boy! I didn't do it for HIM. I did it for ME. Because seriously, could I actually be that mom whose son's number was NOT represented in the impressive line of jack-o-lanterns, field-side? Are YOU kidding? Talk about peer pressure. Mom pressure is fierce. My friends (all 2 of them) were texting me and emailing me to make sure I showed up. It was a pretty orderly process. We grabbed a pumpkin, paid the money (approximately 4 times the cost of a pumpkin). . .. . . gutted it (yeah, I brought a helper),. . .used a stencil they provided to carve the number into the side of the pumpkin. Me...not so much with the stencil. I free-handed mine. It was quicker. Also, un-evener. There was a lot of helping.
A lot of advice.Much encouragement and admiration.Some intense consultation and meticulous planning. OK, actually, some of us had to use a lot of toothpicks to make the number look right. I found the toothpicks at the snack table.There was lots of talking.
Lots of talking about football and sons and colleges and Senior Night. I guess.
Just lots of talking and laughing. Actually talking and laughing while participating in the ingenious pumpkin event. Heroic Dads. Lots of sisters. But not my sister.
My friends. My daughter. But NOT my sister. And suddenly, I got really lonely for my sister. I've been reading way too much of CJane. My sister hasn't lived in my big-small town for more than 20 years. But we have been on the sidelines of this football field for many, many occasions. Like I did, she started watching football here (read that to mean, visiting with friends while football occurred) when she was a child. She trudged through the mud on this field as a member of the homecoming court when she was in high school. We have done our time here.
And here I found myself carving pumpkins with her friends.
I mean, they're my friends too, my friends now, but they started out as her friends. I was the weird big sister. She was cool. I was not.Now, Bootza is in another state, doing other Halloweeny stuff.
On this lovely warm October afternoon, we were up to our elbows in pumpkin goo; she was doing cool other stuff. I'm sure.We were fighting with the perfect October afternoon sun. Hi Bootza! Miss you! The boys here are the same.
Big Russ and Barnabas wandered over after practice. They totally didn't get it. At all. Not one bit.
But when the BIG NIGHT arrived, WE got it. Us with the pumpkin goo under our fingernails.The sisters got it.
Football number jack-0-lanterns lining the field on Halloween/Senior Night. What's so confusing about that?Some of the moms on Halloween/Senior Night dressed up as ...Senior Moms. They got to wear the letter jackets for which they paid dearly, in time and money and mom-level angst. Those letter jackets account for a lot of time sitting on hard bleachers, in blazing heat and freezing cold (OK, it's not actually freezing yet, but whatever). Lots of time watching our sons win , watching them excel and watching them try hard to NOT screw up. We have also watched them lose.Not this year, not this night. Not so far. U stands for UNDEFEATED in the regular season. Also, a lot of time hoping one's son gets to actually play and does not make a monumental error in front of the hundreds of assembled fans. It's pretty compelling to hear anyone's Young Son's name on the public address system, booming out into the darkness. We all cheer for our young heroes, whether the world sees them that way or not. Because they're ours.


Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Wow, those last few sentences, they are compelling. Beautifully written, your love shines through this post.


Muddy Boot Dreams said...

This is in reply to that wonderful comment you left me, on my blog.

You, my new friend were one of the first to comment on a excited but nervous bloggers brand new site. One anxiously awaiting a comment from a stranger.

You have also encouraged me, and I eagerly wait for new posts from you. I know that you are very, very busy, and that makes them even more special!

Looking forward to more.


Anonymous said...

Beuatiful post and beautiful pumpkins!!