October 23, 2010

Our marching Jayhawk

Today was KU Homecoming and while the Jayhawks' play on the football field has left much to be desired during the last few weeks, we don't mind because today was all about the pre-game.

As previously mentioned, Thomas' preschool teacher, the fabulous Miss Lori, somehow sleuthed out an opportunity for her class to march in the Homecoming Parade.  The parade is lead down Jayhawk Boulevard from the Union to the Chi Omega fountain by the KU Marching Band and is composed mostly of floats built by Greek organizations, honored award recipients and the alumni band.

While it is possible that I'm a bit biased, I'm pretty sure this year's parade show was stolen by the addition of the Pre 2 marching all-stars.

Each child in Thomas' class was assigned a job either as a banner carrier, trumpeter, flutist, sousaphone player or drummer. Thomas' assignment as a trumpet player should come as no surprise, given his Louis Armstrong tendencies.

The kids were involved in this project from start to finish and they helped make their "instruments," decorated their visors and then learned about the instruments they were carrying.  Thomas learned, for example, that a trumpet is "kind of like a mellophone but it's really a horn with a bigger bell." All fourteen students also walked the full mile route on their own leg power, which is a feat in and of itself.

The awesome Miss Lori and the part-time staff, who are KU students and voluntarily participated in this!, corraled the kids along the entire route, freeing up the parents to be spectators which was a total treat. We all met our marching geniuses at the end of the parade and then had a group tailgate on the hill. Both boys had more fun than should be legal playing football on the hill with their friends, eating hot dogs and generally messing around.

As a special bonus, Thomas got to meet a real KU Marching Band trumpet player, thanks to the kindness of one of his teachers, Kirsten, who played in the band for four years. His name was Josh and after he serenaded Thomas with the KU fight song, he was kind enough to pose for a picture. I don't have his permission to post this but he told me that the thought the kids were the best part of the parade so I'm hoping this will meet with his approval.

After all of this fun, the Jayhawks played some football I think but we'll choose not to dwell on that. Instead, I'll choose to remember it from Thomas' perspective. On the walk back to the car I asked him what his favorite thing was about the parade and the tailgate he said, "Well, just all of it!"

Well said.


Rosemary said...

Okay, that was spectacular to read and see pics of and to "be there" in my mind's eye and heart. How wonderful of Miss Lori to arrange for something like that. What a fantastic memory they'll all have and look how much they learned. Can't wait until Thomas begins playing the "real" thing.

Maria said...

That is so neat! I am envious of the whole football experience you and your kids get in Lawrence. The last pic of T with the trumpet player is the best. Got aunt Maria teary!

Stephanie said...

Awesome! What a great memory for T - I'm convinced our boys are at the age where they'll remember BIG events and I think this will qualify. Love it, love it, love it. So glad T had a perfect morning!

Lori MacDonald said...

I just wanted to share an insiders moment about "my" Thomas as we walked together, side by side in the KU homecoming parade. Although the cheering from the spectators almost drowned us out, I still managed to hear Thomas blowing into his homemade trumpet and enthusiastically making all attempts to make music as he marched down Jayhawk Blvd. This day ranks up there with one of my favorite teaching memories. I am blessed.

Kate and Dennis said...

Excellent!! I was right outside the Union when the parade kicked off, and I saw the group - but T's hat must have hid his little face, b/c at the time I couldn't spot him...too much fun!!

cisley said...

is it wrong to say I like Josh?

Anonymous said...

I love the post! My name is Josh, the trumpet player in the picture with Thomas, and I just wanted to say that I am so very happy that he had a great time! I hope to see you guys at a game this fall! Hope all is well!

Anonymous said...

I'm Josh's mom & I am so excited to see this photo & post! Josh described the circumstances to me surrounding the photo & I am touched that the teacher made all of this happen for the kids. I just love teachers who care!
It would be great for y'all to attend a game this fall if possible, as that trumpet player has made Drum Major! We're proud of Josh & so happy for him, but we also think that maybe an updated photo is in order!!
Blessings to you all.