Two things are important for you to know in order to appreciate this story:
- Dude’s love for the University of Maryland is not a casual thing. He knows the words to most of the school songs (I’m willing to bet 85% of Maryland grads don’t know the Alma Mater by heart like he does). He knows the drum cadences. He knows “The Truck” inside out and backwards. He knows the tone of the football announcer’s voice.
- Dude has a reading comprehension level somewhere between 3rd and 5th grade. He can also spell, especially words that relate to his special interests. It’s worth noting that Maryland’s victory song ends with spelling it’s name, “M-A-R-Y-L-A-N-D, Maryland will win!” Because expressive language isn’t one of Dude’s strengths, people often forget about his other word-related talents.
In Dude’s mind, autumn = Maryland.
Once the annual family vacation is over, Dude starts talking about the next major event due up, which is the annual family trip to a Maryland football game.
Hang out with Dude for 15 minutes between August and October/November, and this is what you’ll probably hear:
“Maryland! Soon we go to Maryland! In the fall! In the fall we go to Maryland. In November. In November we go to Maryland. Practice field! Soon we go to the practice field. No practice field. The Miiiiiighty Souuuuuuund of Marrrrrrrrryland! No saxophone! Maryland allll gone. All gone for Maryland. Maryland alllll finished. Football game. Soon we go to the football game.”
On loop. In his classic sing-songy voice.
As much as I love that he loves my university’s band and football team and that he has the language to express just HOW MUCH HE LOVES IT, it can get a teeeeeeny tiiiiiiny bit annoying.
Apparently Dude’s Maryland loop has not gone unnoticed by the staffers at his residential placement.
When we were visiting a couple weekends ago, one of the staffers asked us, “Umm are you guys going to M-a-r-y-l-a-n-d soon?” She spelled out “Maryland,” hoping to avoid a Dude Maryland-tangent.
“HAHAHAHAHA!” I laughed out loud as Dude’s head snapped around. “Spelling it isn’t going to help you! It’s one of Dude’s favorite words to spell.”
“SOON WE GO TO MARYLAND!” Dude said excitedly as he crossed the room and reached out to touch my chin to prompt me to echo him.