This past week was Homecoming Week at Alex's high school. Amidst the sadness of Lucy's death, Alex had activity after activity of homecoming celebrations. These distractions were good for her and us.
I am a neophyte when it comes to Homecoming - having graduated from an all girls’ high school. I actually had no idea what this entailed, but it was fun. I must admit I got a bit wrapped up in it myself.
Apparently in rural Colorado - and perhaps the rest of the country - Homecoming goes something like the following:
Monday - Tie-dye/Neon day
Tuesday - Cowboy day
Wednesday - Spirit day
Thursday - Pirate day
Friday – Theme and Parade day
Friday night - THE football game
Saturday - THE dance
Sunday - rest for weary parents
The week went well for Alex. She participated in all the daily activities, wore her best tie dyed shirt, dressed in her best cowboy outfit , became a pirate, and most importantly, proudly sported her number 64 jersey on theme/parade day. I learned that on cowboy day in rural Colorado, kids can ride their horses to school. Bet a lot of you have never had to step over horse poop on your way to school.
The parade on Friday took over our little town of 5,000. People lined the streets, the elementary and middle school kids all wore purple - the Longhorns color - and the excitement was contagious. Alex was part of the football float, after all she is the Team Manager. I had to fight my way to the front of the crowd to see her. However, once again she was hard to miss - she was the only one with a coat on. Thankfully, the number 64 was very visible beneath her jacket. What is up with that – I need to investigate.
When the football float went by I noticed that most of the boys had mohawks. As I am such a kind and caring mother, I yelled out to Alex that she should get a mohawk just like the players. The boys thought I was funny...Alex did not. Okay, so I got a little chuckle from my misdirected wit. Sometimes a person just needs to create their own humor.
The game was Friday evening and Alex kept her coat on - but it was really cold. She also did not do her job of removing the tee after kick-offs. I really am not sure why she does it in practice, but will not in the games, nerves perhaps? What is up with that – I need to investigate.
It was a very tense and exciting game – our Longhorns lost in a heated battle (at least they were heated – we were frozen) to the visiting Rams by a score of 20 – 23. Such heartbreak for the Homecoming crowd.
The Big Dance was Saturday night and Alex insisted she go. We had just spent the day at the Bowling competition where I had observed her broken heart. I was a bit uneasy about her going to the dance, concerned she might be too sad to enjoy herself. But who am I to say no to a 16 year old girl who wants to dance?
Generally, I am very nervous about Alex going to any large kid filled function by herself. I am concerned that she will be ignored, teased or even taken advantage of – and it scares me to death. Every time I let her go to an event like this, I convince myself I am being irresponsible and a bad parent. Yikes, that is really bad karma.
I asked John to walk in with her, make sure he saw kids she recognized, make sure everyone was supervised and then leave. He came home after about 1/2 hour and assured me everything was fine. Alex called about 30 minutes before the dance was supposed to be over and asked to be picked up. When she came home she said she had a good time and went to bed.
I was not able to talk to Alex until the morning – but she said danced the whole night and was not sad at all. When I asked who she danced with, she mentioned a couple of the basketball girls – those of the “Big Al” story. I can not imagine a better evening for Alex than dancing with her favorite girlfriends.
As much as I wish I knew everything that happened at the dance – I am glad to respect her privacy. She was safe, happy and independent – and that’s what I have always hoped for and strife to create in her life.
Now I just need to monitor my worrying….but as any parent will say - including mine - easier said than done.