I am pretty sure that when Kyle and Owen are adults, looking back on their childhoods, one of their fondest childhood memories will be Lehigh football games.
They’ve been going for their whole lives. We have never bought a ticketed seat. We get in for free with my faculty ID, and we sit on the grass at the end zone. The boys always bring a football, and they run around with a wild pack of other kids, tumbling around on the grass, rolling around the hill, tackling each other, and playing full-contact-football. They take breaks to check out what is happening on the actual field every once in a while, or to try to catch the ball in the end zone as it is kicked for a field goal. They take breaks to say hello to folks they know (Braydon and I are always socializing with friends and students and alum). They take breaks to ask for help finding napkins to deal with bloody noses, or to ask for ice to deal with gashed up knees and elbows, or to ask for an endless stream of cash to go buy junk food and sugary drinks from the vendors. But mainly, they spend the entire time rolling around on the grass, jumping all over each other, and acting like little maniacs (who are quickly becoming big maniacs). They love it. It is quite the awesome way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
At the center of it all is always their friends James and William. They’ve been playing together at these games for at least 8 years. They are steady companions at these games — and they also have been going to the same school together for the past several years (including the move from one private school to another; which is really quite something). These four boys will not forget their falls spent at Lehigh football games together — that, I am sure of.
These pictures — as James and William’s mom said — “tell a whole story.” They really do.
Saturday was the last home football game of Lehigh’s regular season. Lehigh played Colgate and won. It was a good ending to the season, but we were very melancholy about the end of a another era. The boys had a great time, as always. And I marveled at the longevity of our families’ friendship and the bond of our four boys that has pulled us together for so many seasons of football games on that end zone grass. All of the grass stains and blood stains and ketchup stains are so worth it for the fun that we’ve had and the good friends that we’ve made.
Boys: I hope you always know fun times and good friends — times that are light and full and raucous, and friends who are true and spontaneous and easy.