All my life, I've always had one family. My parents, my brother and sister . . . I've lived with them for all my sixteen years. We've moved all over Georgia, we've gone on vacations, we've traveled to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas and Florida to see the extended family members. I wouldn't trade them for the world.
But . . . I've recently acquired another family.
I spend nearly every waking hour with this other family. I go to school with them, and I spend countless hours with them outside of school. On Mondays we're together from 6:00 to 9:30. Same with Tuesdays. On Thursdays we're with each other from 2:00 until 7:30. We usually hang out on Fridays and Saturdays. We all are in the same 7th period class.
I can only be talking about one thing.
My guard family.
Colorguard or winterguard is basically a group of people, both girls and boys, who spin flags, rifles and sabres with dance and drill. Colorguard marches with the marching band in the band shows, and winterguard is entirely just guard.
At the end of my sophomore year of high school, my friend Danielle told me that I was going to try out for guard and there wasn't anything I could do about it. Tryouts were a week long, every day after school for three hours. Monday . . . wasn't so hard. We picked up a flag and learned drop spins and learned a really quick routine from one of our "coaches," Trey. Tuesday, another "coach" came (Jay), who began teaching us dance routine. It continued the entire week, until Friday when we tried out.
I'm going to be honest and say that I wanted to quit. I wanted to give up. Wednesday was one of the worst days in my guard life because I hurt so bad and everything I did made everything hurt worse. I was two seconds from walking out the door.
I told a few of the friends that I had made in those three days that I might quit. But all of them, every single one of them, even the ones I didn't know, told me not to. That it would get better. That it wasn't always going to hurt. I believed them, and, needless to say, I didn't quit.
I made the team and went to band practice and guard sectionals. I became friends with everyone, and we all instantly became a family.
Before every performance, we all get together, and hold a Lifesaver candy in our right hands. We all join hands, so that a Lifesaver is touching both of our hands. We say the Our Father. We give each other compliments and tell everyone that we wouldn't want to be here with anyone else. Why a Lifesaver? As our captains Deidra and Liz say "We're each other's life savers."
If we drop something in our performances, the closest person says loud enough for them to hear, "Recover! You can do it!" Behind the backdrops we tell each other "Good job, good luck!" After performances we tell each other that we did the best job we could have. Sure, we look like a mess after nine minutes on the field, but we all feel great.
All the sixteen of us spend more time with each other than we should. Sure, we all can get a bit miffed at each other, but, hey, isn't that what it's like in your family?
All of them mean something to me. Deidra and Liz H. are the captains. Sarah N. and Alexa will be captains their senior year, and they were born spinning a rifle, they're that good. Heather and I talk to each other in Spanish. Ashleigh and Alyssa sit behind me on the bus and they always have the most amazing socks. Averi and Jessica are the "twins," because they look so much alike. Brittany and Liz K. are always together. Sarah M. talks with her hands . . . a lot. Megan and I sit on opposite side of the room in our lit class, but we still talk to each other constantly through that class. Lyndsay and I are in the same history class and we always have the best jokes about lasagna and spaghetti. Danielle was the one who got me into this in the first place. The other Lyndsey is the youngest and yesterday we sing/yelled "Happy Birthday" in Taco Bell to her.
They are all immensely important to me, and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.
This is Kaila, recovering from a competition . . . 2nd place, baby!
(Be still my love, open up your heart . . . Let the light shine in . . .)