Once we got to campus, we unloaded the bus. We had breakfast foods, snacks, binders, all kinds of things that were necessary for the day. As the last two of us were walking up to the team room, one student came back. He was sure he had left his books on the bus for the event he had just before noon. It was an event were materials were allowed. He needed the books. Kathy started calling the bus driver. We sent him on to get a bite to eat before a 7 am event, assuring him the books would be found and there for him on time.
The students were basically on their own. They all had schedules and events to be to on time. They were all set with maps and their reference materials. It was the day to be professional. This was the day they had waited for all year. When you start practicing in November, you not only don’t know what you may eventually be competing in, you also don’t know when you will end your “season.” This is the end and the only end any of them want to have.
As the competitors filtered in and out of the team room, they left little notes behind – hints to tell those of us supporting them how they felt they did – “good,” “lovin’ it,” “it was a two hour test in 50 minutes.” You get the idea. As parents, coaches, chaperones, we watched, calmed and walked all over campus. We hiked up to the far end to watch planes fly and trebs launch. We walked to the grass field to see bottles launch. We sat inside, on a beautiful day, to see eggs hopefully not scramble and junkyard wars with marshmellows.
At 3 pm, we were cleaning up the team room. We packed up the garbage and tied up the bags. We wittled down the boxes of snacks. The leftovers would, of course, be used on the long bus ride home. We started moving items out and off towards where the bus would be. We would wait but NO! Eric, the bus driver, was wonderful. He was there early and the kids were loading the bus as the adults walked up.
By 4:15, we were back at the hotel getting ready for dinner. This was a dressy affair. There were pants and shirts to ironed, hair to be fixed. In the lobby at 5:20 pm, it was a different group. There were dress shoes and ties. There were heels and jewelry. The stress of the day was behind all and the anticipation of the awards ceremony was in front of us.
….more later ….