The Clemson/ Carolina Game... quite possibly the biggest game of the year in South Carolina. But Why??
When I was in high school I couldn't have cared less about the Clemson/ Carolina game. No one in my immediate family had strong ties to either school, and we spent most of our fall weekends on band trips, not watching football games.
To be honest, I really wanted to go to UGA. They have a beautiful campus and a wonderful music school. During my senior year, I applied and was accepted, but I also was accepted to USC (by the way, USC's school of music is pretty awesome, too). Over the next few months it began to be obvious that attending UGA would cost me a lot of money, while attending USC would be free (actually I made money) because of the in-state scholarships and tuition costs. That's the story of how I became a Gamecock.
I remember my very first Clemson/ Carolina game. It was in Clemson. The band kids were out of control! They took everything so personal... I could NOT believe it. We lost that game. Yeah, I wanted to win... but I figured, hey... we'll win one sometime.
The next year was the year of 63-17. Carolina was demoralized in their own stadium. By the end of the game the only people left in the stands were Clemson fans and the Carolina band... and I was part of the Carolina band. It was yucky and I despised coming back to my dorm room and reading everyone's "Yay, Clemson!" posts on AIM (remember that?!?).
My third Clemson/ Carolina game was at Clemson. It was the year of the big fight. Before that game, our team was already bowl eligible and I was excited to get to go to a bowl game for the first time in my college years. We lost the game, and the fight caused us to forfeit our bowl game.
My final Clemson/ Carolina game as an undergraduate was at Carolina. It was Spurrier's first year as HBC. I just *knew* it was the year. Mark and I hosted a big party at our house the night before and served our homemade "Tiger Blood" concoction and played college ping pong on Mark's ping pong table that was decorated as if it were Williams-Brice field. We lost that game and I was devastated. Truly, truly devastated.
For me, the Clemson/ Carolina game has been a lot about remembering my college experience. Remembering those long, cold, rainy walks to class where I (and lots of other people) occasionally tripped on the bricks on the Horseshoe... remembering all the wonderful friends I made while at school... remembering all the growing up I did... and remembering that no one, not even Clemson, can take those memories from me.
So, today's game should be a celebration of the pride that comes from the alumni, students and fans of these two wonderful universities. I can't effect the outcome of today's game- but I also know this... the outcome of today's game won't affect anyone's love for their school. Happy Clemson/ Carolina Day!!
Once again I have a post full of Grayster photos. Sorry!
Thanksgiving Break began this afternoon!! Grayson must have known that it was going to happen, because as soon I picked him up he was ready to go! When we got home he requested a snack. I've never seen him cry as hard as he did when Gordo stole some of his food. After a hug and another handful of goldfish, Grayson was good to go.
We played in the backyard for the longest time. Football was his first request. I asked him if he liked the Tigers or Gamecocks. He said, "I wike Tigers". Well... yuck.
This is when I really think he decided that Thanksgiving Break is a good thing. He was crazy excited!
Then we walked to the pond to visit the ducks. Grayson was a little scared of them, but liked seeing them. When we got back home I gave him a high five. He said (to himself), "Good Job, Little Guy!"
We traveled down to Columbia today to celebrate Thanksgiving a few days early with Jason's family. As we drove down, I remembered how much I absolutely adore this time of year. The weather is great (even when it is a little rainy) and everyone is happy.
Jason's Nana prepared a wonderful meal. After we ate, the little boys went outside and ran in the rain... the loved it. We all loved it.
As the boys were playing outside, I overheard Jason's Nana say, "These are times I would pay a million dollars for..." Then Jason's dad said, "I'd pay 5 million". Never to be outdone, Jason's Nana answered, "Well, let's just say... these times are priceless". Then Jason's dad responded, "I agree 100%".
I cried tonight when I read the words of a fellow music teacher. Last week someone donated a cello to her school. As amazing as that was, she actually had a student who needed a cello so she was able to put it right to use. Anyway... here are her words from tonight:
As I'm going through a box of music that was donated with the cello I received last week, it became very obvious it belonged to a son that had recently passed away. I flipped open one of the covers and found a handwritten note from mother to son that read;
"Don't worry about the ink so much, use a little imagination."
My work schedule has finally lightened up and I've enjoyed coming home from work like a normal person. On Tuesday afternoon, Grayson and I played at the park for an hour and a half. On Wednesday, I came home and spent time with both of my boys... just playing at home. On Thursday, Grayson and I were home a little after five. I have to work later tonight, but tomorrow marks the first Saturday I've spent home in months. I'm excited.
Anyway, this new normal has been great for our family... even Grayster seems happier.
Just a post to get my thoughts on paper. Well, not real paper... but you get the point.
My favorite part of the day is when I come home. I love seeing my little boy. I love seeing my husband. I even love cuddling with my Gordo. I love the comfort that comes from just being at home.
Yesterday I heard that saddest story.
One of the teachers at my school was beginning a new unit with her students and asked them to draw a simple house. Outside the house, she asked them to write words that describe how they feel when they first enter that house each day.
Most students said things like: loved, part of the family, happy.
But some said things like this: hated, invisible, unwanted.
Yall... It just breaks my heart. Grayster is my world, and I see his sweet spirit in my students every single day. Seriously... how can there be families out there who make their middle school children feel this way...
Since then I've been saying lots of prayers for my school babies... and my heart is still broken.