As quickly as stores fill with back to school supplies in summer, we find ourselves in fall.  Discount bins are filled with erasers, notebooks and pens while kids plan their Columbus Day away from school and studies.


It funny how quickly traditions are made and broken; created by the popular kids but successfully ushered into grade school history by the followers.  The cool kids are often credited with setting trends, but it's the followers that really make things cool. Without the followers, nothing would stick.

Take for instance the tradition of the Signing of the Shirt.  Never signed a shirt?  Then you must’ve never been part of a team.  Never part of a group that needed to commemorate attendance with a Sharpie on white cotton.  You were never that person that could only communicate a special moment, unparalleled play or season by recounting each moment down the sleeve of a friend.

It begins each new school year: teams meet for the first practice in August, woefully unaware for what the season has in store. Some kids have baseball gloves with the tags still attached while others having been training their entire early adolescence.  Meanwhile, a masterpiece is being made on the other side of campus.   The thespians of the school run lines to each other in their best English accents hoping to be the next My Fair Lady or Oliver.  


Time passes, positions are awarded, dreams are crushed.  But somewhere in between others make the best of it by bonding together.  Kids learn from their mistakes,winning and losing along the way while laughter fills the team bench.  Sets and stages come alive with the first dress rehearsal as nervous energy fills the air.   The end of summer quickly becomes fall as these novices settle into their groove to make something great.  And when it’s all over, you get your shirt, put it on and search for friends to fill the empty space with inside jokes and well wishes.  


It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or actor . . . . a coach or casting director, ,  ,As long as each moment is spent side-by-side with your new “family” to create or conquer.  It may not seem like much as an adult, but it’s those occasions that fill your small world as a kid.  These times live on, seeping into the same cotton that dried the sweat or a game or tears of stage fright. . . . helping you make memories.

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