The Awe of High School
Earlier today, I told a friend that I hadn’t written a blog post because Awe had not visited me in the way that it does…at least it hadn’t in that moment. Awe cannot be forced. Awe, when it happens, when you’re in it, You. Just. Know. So I’ve learned to wait, knowing awe will come when it will. And it always does. Always.
I have a son who likes to walk the banks of life. He knows every single aspect of the river he walks beside. Occasionally he’ll get in, swim around and socialize but most of the time he prefers the edge where he can watch and observe. When Reo wants to jump in and swim around, I’m all there for him. So when he said he wanted to go to his high school spirit game—the first basketball game of the season for both girls and boys, I was not going to get in his way. He bought himself school spirit game t-shirts and he explained the half-time show we were going to see. He was thrilled to participate in this way.
I thought we’d take our time and casually show up. Nothing doing! Reo insisted we arrive early and thank goodness we did. Our little community was all there! We walked into the high school to a full house. I’ve never seen anything like it—at least not since my high school days.
The bleachers on both sides of the gym were packed. The roar of crowd was deafening. The energy, fever pitched, made my heart race. What a thrill!
The Awe I experienced was something I had forgotten about. An aspect of the human experience I’m going to call ‘the parade.’ I sat in the front row with my daughters at my feet on the ground. The place was packed with high school and middle school cool. Small packs of decked out boys and girls walked along the court’s edge in front of the bleachers—all of them desperate to be seen while trying not to look. Back and forth the parade went. Some of the kids practically pacing making at least a dozen passes throughout the game. The teen-aged angst and enthusiasm was tangible.
I looked over at Reo who did not want to sit with me and his sisters. He wanted to be with the high school kids. And there he was in the middle of the crowd, on the banks of it all with a smile that barely fit on his face. He’s stepping into high school and the parade in his own way. What a joy to witness.