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!)