Thursday, September 12, 2013
Kissing of the "M"
It's "Welcome Week" at Marist. As I've dropped off Brayden in the mornings, I've spotted seniors greeting students with crowns on their head and passing more crowns (think Burger King) to fellow seniors. We've been told to pack an extra pair of shorts and shirts for two of the days this week for our freshmen - and pictures on Marist's FB page have shown bonding games involving spoons, water balloons, and hula hoops.
All of those details pale in comparison, however, to the ultimate initiation ceremony at Marist - the "Kissing of the M". Transfer students and even new staff get to participate in this as well - a symbolic representation of the school's motto "We are one". For the freshmen, though, it's turned into more than just getting in the very shallow fountain to kiss the "M" - now, costumes are involved. As is tradition, upper classmen who have a relationship (friendship) with the incoming freshmen get to dictate what the freshman will have to wear when kissing the "M". Brayden's been threatening Mikayla since the day he heard about this tradition....oh boy. (He'll be a senior when she's a freshman).
As for Brayden, we thought he might get by scott-free, but apparently we have Zach (aka "Thor" of Camp Harlow) to thank for making sure Brayden didn't get left out. One of Zach's buddies is "Garrett" who just happens to be the Marist ASB Vice President - and apparently he's been charged with "looking out for Brayden". Because of their combined access to the "Prop Shack" at Harlow, Garrett was able to be very creative for both Brayden and Andrew...
Oh dear. Amy gave me a little hint that I might want to show up and take some pics of this event. (I wouldn't have otherwise - so I'm glad she did). Brayden gave me his blessing if I wanted to be there...but I stayed in the wings as to not embarrass him - as if any more humiliation could be possible. I didn't know until I arrived if indeed he'd be in costume - and then quickly realized he'd been included in all aspects of the festivities. Seriously, a too-tiny Superman costume, a horsie stick, and Musketeer ears? And, standing next to him is Andrew in Christmas footed PJ's and an "M&M" costume.
The costume was so tiny, it didn't even close in the back. Note the kid in blue standing next to him (in pics above and below). He is Spencer Hoffman, son of my dear friend, Steph Hoffman. Brayden has really enjoyed getting to know him more - he's funny and an all-around great kid. He's also 6'7" and STILL growing. Watching them next to each other cracks me up.
The football players were admonished to lay all the way down to kiss the "M", hence it taking Brayden and Spencer a bit longer to get in and out. At least it all went quick. The freshmen went in groups of about 10, their first names were all read aloud and then they went in as a group.
It may not look like it from the pics I've taken, but a lot of the kids were forced to wear attire they wouldn't have chosen on their own. Girls in pirate costumes, boys in girls dance outfits, even a kid wearing an adult diaper (I made it very clear to Brayden that that was off limits for consideration for Mikayla!).
So, now that is done - and Brayden is "official". I'd choose over and over a silly, yet good-spirited tradition like this that sets freshmen apart than any "behind-the-scenes" hazing parents around the world fear for their children. Brayden was all smiles....