If you ask my 6-year-old son if he is going to college, he’ll say “yes.” If you ask him where is going, he already knows that, too. Penn State.
More accurately, my son knows that if he wants mommy to pay for college, he is going to Penn State. I’ve joked about that for enough years now, that he asked me the following question last week:
“Mom, is that deal still on for Penn State? Will you still pay for it?” he asked.
“Yes, Seamus, of course. If you want to go to Penn State, mommy will pay for every cent,” I replied (as always).
“Good, cause I don’t want to leave college with any debt.”
I love that my 6 year old is already concerned for his financial future, but more so, I love that he loves my school. Penn State, if you have not gathered, is this mommy’s alma mater.
I started instilling the Lion love from birth. He had Penn State clothes before he was born. I held him up to the television when he was barely a week old to “see” his first Penn State football game.
Each year, he gets a brand new Nike brand jersey with the number matching his age. He loves watching the games with me on television. He knows exactly who Joe Paterno is, and properly thinks he’s the most amazing thing to ever happen to college football EVER.
My grandfather went to Penn State. I guess the same love was instilled in me all of my life, too. We had season tickets. We went to ever game. I knew in my junior year of high school, while briefly contemplating schools, exactly where I was going. Standing in Beaver Stadium, hearing Penn State’s alma mater, and truly tearing up to the words, I knew that I couldn’t possibly go anywhere else.
I applied to one school. Penn State. Thankfully, I was accepted early, and from October of my senior year, I was all set. I hope my son has it as easy.
Mommy’s stories, reminders, football jerseys and even begging aside, there is likely one thing that will show my son how amazing Penn State will be: attending our annual football game! This past weekend, we did just that.
Yes, this past weekend, while the east coast fretted over inches and inches of snow, we sat in a stadium for 60 full minutes of on-the-clock game play. We had decided on our game months ago, when my son’s own season of football was over. It was the first game we could get to, so we were ready. The weather report came much later.
Snow and cold temperatures didn’t stop us. We didn’t blink an eye. We layered on three sets of clothing, under our full snowsuits. We packed hand warmers in our gloves and foot warmers in our boots. We sat on one poncho and used the second over ourselves as a blanket, which we stayed snuggled under for the entire game.
And yes, we made it though the entire game. If you missed the Nittany Lions amazing efforts against the Fighting Illini Saturday, maybe you aren’t aware that the last two minutes of play made it all worth the efforts.
With under two minutes to play, the Lions battled down the field, thanks largely to the previously injured Derek Moye, 6, coming back into the game, and scored its first actually touchdown in the game. Adding the score, an extra point and its earlier field goal, Penn State lead 10-7 over the Orange and Blue.
Illinois didn’t give up, they marched right back and got within field goal range. In the game’s final seconds, it looked like they’d tie it up and send it into overtime, but one bounce off the goal post later, and the Lions won!
It was maybe one of the best game enders I’ve ever seen, and there we were, in the center of it all. We were dancing and celebrating in the stands, as snow billowed down on top of us (as it did for the entire game) screaming, yelling and completely thrilled to watch our favorite team in football chalk up one more win!
It was probably the best mother/son moment we’ve ever had. We made it through the full game, dedicated fans until the bitter (cold) end. And it was worth every minute.