Hudson’s first Gamecock football experience

A couple of weeks ago, Todd and I started talking about taking Hudson to his first Gamecock football game. We thought the game against UAB would be a good one for him to attend, as we expected that the crowd would be a little more tame since it wasn’t an SEC opponent.

RC and PC kept Hayes at their house, and we got Hudson all decked out in his Gamecock apparel for his first Williams Brice Stadium experience.

We decided not to tailgate, and to just get to the stadium an hour before kickoff. We knew that would give us plenty of time to make our way to the stadium and get situated in our seats before any of the pregame entertainment began.

Hudson was so excited about his hat and the Gamecock on the back of his hat and on his shirt. We held his hands and walked to the stadium. He was paying very close attention to everything. He noticed all the cars, all the Gamecock gear, all the policemen and police cars.

Our first stop was at the concessions stand. We had promised Hudson a Sprite (a treat he’s only had once before) and popcorn. He was so excited! We got inside the stadium really early, so it was easy for him to see everything and he was able to see the band file onto the field.

When the Gamecock first crowed over the loud speaker, Hudson was immediately fascinated by the whole experience. He loved the fireworks every time we scored and he loved the rooster crowing. He clapped when everyone  clapped and loved shouting, “Go Cocks!” at the top of his little lungs.

We made three trips to the restroom- and he still never actually used the restroom. I think he just wanted to see the restroom. He just got the full Williams Brice experience!

We left right before half time. He had started to lose interest in the game and we’d run out of chicken fingers. I asked him if he was ready to go home, and he said, “Okay, mommy. Let’s go home.”

He was such a grown up little boy. I was so proud of him on Saturday. He was super excited and appreciative of everything he saw. We may take him to another low key game this season. He was such a little trooper.

We went to RC and PC’s house after the game to pick up Hayes. Hayes was already in bed, and Hudson immediately started telling everyone where he’d been that night. He told them all about seeing Cocky and the huge jumbo-tron (he called it the big TV) and the Gamecocks winning. He was so proud of what he’d gotten to do, and that just made my heart explode with happiness.

We woke Hayes up and put him in the car to go home. On the way home from RC and PC’s house, the car was pretty quiet and both boys were sleepy.

I heard Hudson start talking to Hayes about where he’d been that night. He started telling Hayes about the Gamecocks and Cocky. He told him about the popcorn and Sprite.

And Hayes, he doesn’t say a lot, made a few excited noises and laughed.

And then Hudson said, “Don’t worry, Hayes. You can go, too, when you’re a big boy.” And I looked at Todd and had to fight back the tears.

Going to his first game is such a simple thing, but it’s such a big first in his relationship with his Daddy, who is a Gamecock fan since he was about Hudson’s age.

He may not remember his first experience, but he’ll always have the pictures. Todd and I, on the other hand, will never ever forget Hudson’s first experience and how we introduced him to a tradition that he’ll be a part of for a long time. (And we’ll just continue to keep our fingers crossed that he remains a Gamecock fan and doesn’t cross over to the dark side. Kidding!)



the search for simple significance

Life as a mother, particularly a stay-at-home mother, can get a little lonely. We have the constant company of our sweet little ones, who aren’t necessarily sweet all the time. But there isn’t a whole lot of interaction with friends and peers, and many days we go to bed and realize that other than with our immediate family members, we haven’t had a real conversation.

I know, for me, some of the days can feel lonely. And even though I know deep in my heart that my work at home is significant, I can start to feel pretty insignificant.

But I realized not too long ago that my work is not just in the home. We have incredible opportunities to make a huge impact on someone’s day and someone’s attitude.

Mother to mother, this is something that we can do for each other.

A couple of months ago, my mom and I were driving back to South Carolina from Indiana with the boys, and we stopped at a restaurant to have lunch. The hostess was an attractive, friendly woman about my mom’s age. She walked us to our table and limped the whole way there. I let her know we’d need a high chair and as she limped away from us to go get it, I said, “Can I get that for you? I’m happy to do it.”

She stopped and just looked at me, then said, “It’s my pleasure to get it. But thank you so much. No one has ever offered to help me before.”

I don’t know why she was limping, but it wasn’t hard to notice that she must have been in pain. And I honestly couldn’t believe that no one had ever offered to help her.

I’m not telling this story to pat myself on the back. There are plenty of times when I am completely oblivious because I’m too busy with what I’m doing to even notice what’s going on. But the kind woman’s words stuck with me, and I decided to make it a point to be more observant. I want to take the time to notice other people, and be considerate.

It made me feel better, and the woman told me it made her feel better. The look of appreciation on her face would have made anyone’s day.

There are so many mornings when I’m doing drop off at school that I just feel like I’m in a daze. I know what it takes us to get ourselves together and out the door in the mornings. But imagine the possibilities if I just put a smile on my face.

If I pass another mom in the hallway, what does it do to her day if I smile at her, or say hello. There’s a strong possibility that she had the same kind of morning that I did.

When I’m unloading my kids and see another mom struggling to get hers unloaded, how can I impact her day just by offering to help?

Because that little smile or that wave? It says, “I get it. I’ve been there.” And don’t we all just want to feel like someone understands?

Maybe I’ll be a little late for my next stop. Or I’ll spend ten minutes talking to another mom in the hallway when I could be halfway finished with my first errand. But it’s okay to slow down a little bit

We have no idea what people may be struggling with. But if I consider my own struggles and the things that caused me to lose my patience or the things that got my day off to a rotten start, it’s likely that other moms were right there with me.

In this year when I’m saying “no” and focusing more on relationships, I’m committing to take time to notice people. I’m taking time to offer a helping hand to someone. Or just offering a smile and a wave. Or just a quick text to say that I’m thinking of you.

I don’t know about you, but the times that I get a text from someone saying, “You’ve been on my mind today,” my day is made. Someone was thinking of me. And I want to have a positive impact on someone’s day that way.

We have so many opportunities for great significance outside of our own homes. And most days, all we need is a little bit of adult interaction and the realization that we did something to positively impact someone’s day.

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