Friday, October 22, 2010

U of I Homecoming 2010

Fall Homecoming, 2010 – by Bryan

Friday night was a little unconventional. It started normal with dinner, picking up the house, pajamas for the kids, teeth brushed… then, around 7:30, somewhere in Moscow, the marching band started playing. The drum core was hitting a fantastic rhythm, followed by a brassy Vandal fight song. As I listened to the cycle repeat a few times, a reckless idea began to form in my mind: Must find the band…

Here I was, mere minutes away from being done: 4 hours of blissful parent time right around the corner. Kids would be in bed, the house picked up; nothing to do but sit down and exhale. A lot. But the idea was gaining momentum: Must find the band! I stared out Kamryn’s upstairs window for about 8 minutes, looking in the direction of the commotion, a fierce inner battle waging inside: Bed vs. Band. Finally “Band” won - I raced downstairs, coats and shoes in hand, and whirl-winded everyone into the car.

We found the band. They were in the street, the entire street. We parked the car, grabbed the kids ( who were very happy that their bedtime had suddenly been upgraded to “marching band” ) and joined the throng.

Our line wove a path about 2 miles long through Greek row. As we passed each house, our followers grew. Soon, there was a sea of students surrounding us and the band. Hundreds of students walked along with us, yelling out vandal pride with the fight song that kept repeating. Lauryn and Brooklyn were ecstatic.


Then we went to the bonfire. That was pretty sweet. We heard them announce homecoming royalty ( colleges do that? ). And as we started packing up to go home, homecoming Friday had one more sweet surprise: Fireworks! I yanked everyone back out of the car, and opened the hatch so we could sit and watch.



Finally, we pulled up in the driveway at 9:45. It was an awesome couple of hours. Needless to say, I was very glad I listened to my “inner kid”

Kate and I learned a couple of things Friday night:

1. We’ll follow a marching band anywhere.

2. “Fireworks Show” is the best way an unplanned family adventure can end.

3. Listen to your inner kid, especially if you have a lot of outer ones!!!

In all honesty, the real reason I went out Friday was because I wanted Lauryn and Brooklyn to have a few amazing memories of our time in College. Sure it’s usually loaded with stress, but college years are also full of exciting opportunities not found anywhere else. Who knows what a 3 and 5 year old can even remember. I’m hoping the good times stick more than the stressful ones. They probably do.

- Bryan

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