Tonight, I will take the boys to their first high school football game.
They will see the crowds,
smell the popcorn,
feel the gravel underneath their shoes.
They will see school spirit,
on t-shirts and painted faces
and likely a group of senior guys who are shirtless and unified.
I might buy them a candy apple
because that was my favorite treat when I was their age.
I might buy them a BlowPop and a Three Musketeers bar,
because that was my favorite when I was a few years older than them.
They will hear the drum candence, first far away and distant, and then loud as the drum line marches by.
They will see the trombones, the section that has always received my greatest respect, since any other musician can fake it in a sea of brass and woodwinds. Not the trombones. A trombone slide doesn’t hide mistakes.
They will see the mysterious intrigue that is cheerleaders.
They will see the stands open up at halftime, when most of the world buys their concessions, and only the real fans stick around in the bleachers.
They will see their first marching band halftime show.
And when they climb into bed tonight, they will know what their daddy loved.