Commentary by Danielle Wilson
At this point in my parenting career, I’ve cheered for a kid in just about every type of sport. And though I’ve never had to endure a 15-inning baseball game or clavicle-breaking hockey match, when you consider my almost-professional grade status as a dance mom, you can easily label me as a seasoned sideliner. I know exactly the right protocol for field seating, how to subversively seek out like-minded parents, and when to show up with a Diet Coke versus an MRE. But yesterday was a new experience for me, as I attended my first ever Color Guard competition.
[And let’s be clear – Color Guard is absolutely an athletic team. Any activity where a child can be concussed by a flying wooden rifle if the thrower lacks arm strength, hand-eye coordination and endurance is a sport in my book. ‘Nough said.]
The first thing I appreciated was that I didn’t have to drive my daughter; she rode the team bus. All I had to do was show up, pay the $6 admission fee, and locate the gigantic-cupcake-offering concession stand. So far, so good. But then an elderly woman refused to let me enter the gym. “A school is performing, ma’am. You have to wait until they’re finished.” What? I’d cut my time short thinking they’d run behind, but this was Color Guard. Military precision was kinda their thing. As I stood cursing my poor judgement and contemplating the overpowering of one blue hair, she finally opened the door.
Another group was folding their tarp and I could see my daughter’s team approach the floor. I quickly found a seat and surveyed my surroundings. Maybe a hundred parents, but not a sign, pom or bedazzled tee in sight. Note to self: Leave air-horn in purse; not that kind of crowd.
The announcer introduced their number; they danced, tossed, and spun for about five minutes; and then it was over. I left. I literally got in, got out, and no one got hurt. How do I feel about indoor, on-time, fast Color Guard competitions? Flags down, they’re my new favorite!