Button, Button, Who Wears “The Button”?

Recently we officially became a “two-button” family– i.e. both of the kids are now in extracurricular activities which generate photo buttons of their faces, for parents/grandparents to wear when attending those activities.  The Mom version is usually blinged out with colorful ribbons, beads and plastic charms surrounding it and/or hanging off the bottom; the Dad version is usually “just the photo”, to be more manly of course, so they’re more likely to wear it.  But, sadly, my husband Andy is currently a no-button man living in a two-button world.

I understand his reasons completely, mainly not wanting to buy into every “parent pride” merchandising opportunity that comes along, like yard signs (got ’em), expensive ads in printed programs (“You go girl!! We love you SOOOOOO much!!”) and personalized car decals (got those, too, although Allison is still too embarrassed by our vehicles to allow us to put them on the back windows).  He also thinks wearing photo buttons is a bit excessive and over-the-top.  If you know me, you know I think things in North Texas are generally always too over the top and reluctantly go along with a lot of it.  But the buttons? I embrace them whole heartedly, for lots of reasons. For starters, the kids really want us to wear them. Just this week I heard Emmie ask excitedly, “Mom, are you going to wear your button to the volleyball game?”  For many years, they’ve looked forward to being in these activities and feel good when it’s finally their turn to have “button wearers” out there supporting them.  Second, they’re cheap. If you’re going to buy any of this parent pride stuff, the buttons are the least expensive, and sometimes booster clubs provide them free of charge. Third, they’re a way for people to know that your kid is out there, and to look for him/her.  At a large school (our high school has over 2,000 kids), it’s easy for a kid to get lost in the crowd of team photos and posters that promote only the seniors or upperclassmen. I’ve walked by many friends at the games who see my button and say, “Allison is on the drill team? That’s great!” and then they’ll look for her on the field, and maybe even stop to say a kind word to her as well if they recognize her in line at the concession stand or pass her while walking out after the game.

Still, Andy refuses to wear his specially-made buttons.  Should I organize an intervention, have a group of button-wearing parents surround him and demand to know, “WHY DON’T YOU WEAR THE BUTTON?  YOU MUST WEAR THE BUTTON!” just like in the Seinfeld episode where Jerry refuses to wear the AIDS ribbon?  Should I put adhesive on the back of the buttons and secretly stick them on his back at one of the games, when he’s not paying attention?  Should I talk the pre-game tailgate picnic servers into giving extra helpings to only those who wear the button? Seriously, getting to have another free spicy burrito just might do the trick for Andy… although he’d probably take off the button before he entered the stadium…  

Guess I should be glad he at least wears “the shirt” to football games– a red polo-style with the words “Drill Team Dad” embroidered unobtrusively on the front left side– and sits next to me in my sparkly “Drill Team Mom” T-shirt and my blinged out photo button pinned under one shoulder.  It’s a pretty big step for him to do that, when you think about it…now if only I could come up with something for him to wear at Emmie’s volleyball games…

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