Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jiggety jig

Home again, home again...

First and most obviously: the game. Was bad. A little heartbreaking, actually. I know, I know: it's only a game, but it was a Big Game that carried with it Great Importance and garnered National Attention. Some other time, I'll go into detail about why I even care about football and, perhaps, indulge in a psychological and sociological analysis of why it is that I, and others like myself, gain or lose degrees of self-esteem and self-importance because of what a dozen 20-year-old boys do on a large grassy field with a pigskin ball. But tonight, I'm just too sad. Harumph.

I'm also still bearing a tiny grudge against our adjacent season-ticketholder seatmates, who capitalized on the game's high demand by selling their tickets (for a very pretty penny, I hope) to a trio of Ohio State fans. Result: I was nestled against a loud-mouthed, red-jerseyed, nut-necklaced large Buckeye who prattled on about His Wonderful School and All Things Ohioan (-ist? -er? I neither know nor care) for four straight hours. I really hope my mama and Mack Brown are proud of me: I was gracious, I was hospitable, I Made Texas Proud and, bygawd, I did not relinquish my seat even when the game was essentially over.

But now it IS over, which is great because I can move on to all the happy stuff. Namely: whether my mama is proud of me is for her to decide, but she was unquestionably my hero this weekend. One her! Three them! She fed 'em, changed 'em, BATHED 'em, entertained 'em, even (I still can't get over this) attempted to organize their slop-trough toy bins. Veni, vidi, vici? That would be Nana! I can't tell you how many times Trey and I nervously checked our cell phones before the game kicked off, anticipating cries of help, but she did not call. WE LOVE HER. We are so impressed, so relieved, so grateful... and so rejuvenated after 28 hours of no parental responsibility whatsoever. Even dragging our weary feet back to our haunted hotel after the game was kind of a treat: no double-stroller to push, no diaper bag to lug. Did I miss my sweet blond babies? More than words could say. But I knew they were in good hands, and I just adored being back in Austin with my handsome husband, steps away from where we'd met 18 years ago.

So, I woke up this morning to the Central Texas sun in a clear blue sky, and a quiet room with no small sharp-cornered toys underfoot. Next, a luxuriously long shower: heaven. After Trey woke up, got ready, and checked us out of the hotel, we got in the car and headed for campus. Breakfast at Kerbey Lane seemed like the perfect way to start the day. (It was.) We lazily leafed through the newspaper after placing our order; I never even noticed if they had high chairs. I almost slipped when the waitress took our order: I began to ask for an extra stack of napkins, but then realized that we would probably be just fine with the two we'd been offered. (We were.) After eating entirely too much food, we had time for one stop, and the choice seemed obvious: Waterloo Records. How much money have we spent here over the years? I'm pretty sure we toppped ourselves today. We wandered through the aisles picking up the most random selections, and it felt like any Sunday afternoon in the early 1990s. Nice.

Watch check: it was time to hit the road again. Gut check: it was time to see those cherubic faces again. The miles flew by as we spun our stack of new tunes (some hits, some misses) up until the last block before home. And home was... well, calm. Somehow, Mom had gotten everyone down for a great nap, which actually left her with a few quiet minutes to grade papers. (Not at all sure how she kept her eyelids propped open to do that, and am fervently hoping those kids take it easy on her this week.) The quiet was short-lived: Carter woke up and gave us some award-winning big bear hugs, and then it was time to take Mom to the airport. When I got back home, Spence and Katie were awake and cheerful, too... we went to the park, ate dinner, negotiated bathtime, said good-night and now life is back to normal. And aren't we incredibly lucky that it is? Yes. Oh, yes. A thousand times, yes.

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