Rebels. Out on a school night.

I’m feeling very patriotic tonight.

I have a love/hate relationship with major election years. My love of theory and policy and social justice has difficulty overcoming my keen dislike of conflict. This causes problems.

I’m loving where we are at this point in history, though. Let me keep my optimism, please.

After supper (and a discussion of medical marijuana?) and chores C and I packed up and drove to see the Marine Corps Band. A colleague couldn’t attend and I knew Colby would be quite happy to take his seats. It wasn’t until we were seated (in the perfect, percussion section watching spot) that I was able to recognize quite what a big deal this show was. A quick glance at the audience revealed many white-haired or no-haired heads, though there was a significant showing of students and young adults.

What a show! Colby and I used to regularly attend performances here, but he was a young man in his element tonight. Watching his face, I could see him feeling the music, smiling at certain spots and mimicking the movements of the percussionists hands. It makes my heart flutter to think that he loves something that much, to think that he has a great passion. Our favorite piece was called “Asphalt Cocktail”, this rowdy and discordant piece in which a band member played the trashcan. Who doesn’t love that? The performance included what you would expect, Stars and Stripes Forever and Armed Services Medley and such, with some wonderfully surprising pieces interspersed. The second encore included a crowd sing of America the Beautiful, and Colby and I both knew the words (Thank you Mrs. Tardiff!).

Every time I settle into one of the new Collins Center seats I remember the first time Colby was there – in 2001 for the Cohen lecture series. He was a newborn, I was there for extra credit, and as soon as he was finished nursing I hoisted him up over my shoulder, at which point he vomited into the collar of my shirt so that a river of partially digested milk flowed under my shirt, down my back and pooled in the waistband of my jeans.

Tonight though, no vomit. Just intermission cookies, legs and shoulders spread wide into my space, and a face to look up at instead of down at. Colby yawned toward the end of the show, and this is the point in which I usually throw my arm around his shoulders and snuggle him onto my shoulder to rest. Tonight, I realized that this will no longer work. Instead I, yawning, let my head rest on his shoulder.

Then into the car to listen to the debate. And home for the debate – and debate snacks.



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