On Friday of the first week Charlie and I hopped in the tiny car and drove to Lubbock to see John in his first game of the season. We got there at about 9:30 p.m. and they were still having a rehearsal so we checked in to the hotel that's across the street from the school and when he got done, he came over and visited us. He talked all about his first week and his teachers and band and friends and at one o'clock in the morning I yawned for the 50th time and looked over at Charlie who could barely keep his bloodshot eyes open and had to break the news to him that we were old and if we didn't go to sleep now, we would pass out. So he went to hang out with friends.
The next "morning" at around 10:30 we barged our way in to his dorm and made him get dressed so we could take him out to lunch and go shopping for the microwave he wanted. Charlie's best friend came over from Littlefield and we took him to Zio's where we ate pasta until we were sleepy again.
Technically, Baby is the name of the car. But it serves a dual purpose. Yes the child I have worried the most about over the last 18+ years is gone to college. A University even! And for the cherry on top...he auditioned for and earned 1 and 1/2 square feet of turf in the AT&T Jones Stadium in the Goin Band from Raiderland! Bittersweet my friends. Heavy on the sweet this week. We are so proud, we can hardly contain ourselves. I've had joy squirting out of my tear ducts for 4 days. Driving out of Lubbock was the hardest part.
I had lots of funny pictures I wanted to take. But he was a nervous wreck before auditions and I was afraid to push my luck. I cried over my Taco Villa burrito, then went back for the last round of hugs before he went over for his marching audition. Nana is taking it especially hard, but she doesn't have the luxury of texting like I do. I'm trying very hard not to harass him. It's not easy. He would probably say I'm not trying hard enough. I haven't texted one time today. And it's already 2:25, and according to his band camp schedule which I printed out, he's on his lunch break. A perfect opportunity to text and yet here I am refraining. Also, I did not text one time on Tuesday. Went a whole day with no communication. I checked his Facebook page all day, but I had no communication. He added a Friend on Tuesday.
John, if you're reading this, we are loving you from afar. And sitting on our hands, so as not to text or phone. Please don't unfriend me on Facebook. I'm hanging by a thread.
I called the counselor's office regarding John's transcript yesterday because it still hasn't made it to the college of his choice. Tried to make an appointment for his Bacterial Meningitis shot, also due for his entrance application. Got him to sign a request for a transcript from the Jr. college where he takes dual credit classes. Witnessed a wreck while picking up Peach yesterday, forgot to take Melee' to his orthodontist appointment yesterday. Had the doctor's office call me back to cancel the first appointment that I had made for John and reschedule as the doctor was unavailable? Forgot to give Charlie the Jr. College transcript request this morning so he could fax it.
Still managed to watch Survivor last night.
I guess some time after the March post, we started tossing around the idea of selling the house. Yes. The. House. The dream house. The one we just couldn't get over. I probably started it. I just started feeling poor. John was getting closer to college, we bought him a car, Charlie lost his company car due to cutbacks at work, so we had to buy a new one and just life in general, I started to feel anxious. Charlie, the eternal optimist who never worries about much, got on board with me the day that the lot next door to us sold. There had been some hub-bub in the neighborhood association around the same time and we were worried about property values. So at some point, I think after school was out we got the house ready and decided to list it. I had been watching homes for sale in our price range and we figured it would take a year to sell it and by that time John would be done with school.
It sold in 3 weeks.
So, we moved in with my Mom. Yep, all six of us. Good thing she likes us. Anybody can love their kids, but it takes somebody of special character to put up with the six of us! It's cozy, and we're all pretty comfortable, but toilets and T.V's are at a premium. We all get along really well but nobody picks up their socks enough, and the laundry is never done. Literally. Never done.
Meanwhile, Charlie's company moved the plant from Seagoville to Irving, so his commute has gone from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes on a perfect day. ( I've sat here for 20 minutes trying to decide what I want to say about that.) Like most things that have happened since we moved to a small town, I find that I edit myself because I worry about who might read it. Let's just say I'm exploring Eastern Philosophies in an attempt to be Zen. I'm struggling. So when Charlie comes home from work my Mom swoops in and says "HOW WAS YOUR DAY??" All bright and shiny and interested and that's nice for him I think. I'm interested, don't get me wrong, but when it goes in a negative direction -because everyone needs to let off steam from time to time, my blood pressure skyrockets and my thoughts go really dark. Postal dark. The other day they got a company-wide email. Their parent company had awarded them an award for the best company of the year out of all the companies that they owned. So in honor of the award, they were authorized to have pizza and a cake for all their employees. A pizza party. And cake. Sounds shallow and bitchy of me I know, but if I were able to explain (bitch) to my hearts content, I think you'd understand why I'd like to say "...............!" And that's one of the reasons I don't blog as much as I used to.
To that end Charlie has been talking about maybe moving 40 miles west of where we are now. We've gone and looked at a new housing development. I love a new house, but I feel really gun shy and west was not the direction I was hoping to move. I have a lot of angst about the idea of moving Melee' who is in tears every time we bring up moving. On one hand, I've (been) driven to the new office a couple of times and it's a beating. And he's home late a lot. On the other hand...well there's just a lot on the other hand. Sunday night about nine o'clock, the Irving police department called to let him know there had been a break in. There was a door off the hinges, gate lock broken, fence cut open and a huge truck had been pulled into the shop and loaded to the gills. 2 of the guys got away, the third isn't talking and will soon be deported and they didn't catch them until After they had taken one full load of tools and equipment and had come back for another. So he had to leave the house at 9 just as it was starting to sleet and he didn't come home until Monday night. It's times like those I think we should live closer, but mostly not.
John's Senior Year is halfway over. I haven't had any breakdowns yet and I think that bothers him a little. I said, "Don't worry you'll get to see plenty when I have to drop you off at college." Because I'm staying really positive that he will in fact finish an application for a college of some sort and actually send it in.
Melee' is having a great Freshman year and despite the fact that his older brother harasses him constantly that he's doing everything wrong, he feels comfortable with his friends and his position in the social heirarchy at school.
Peach is Peach. She tried out and made the Honor Choir at school which she loves, and is playing her last basketball game this Saturday which she hates. I made her do it. And every day she reminds me that I made her and how unhappy she is about that. And why did I make her? I ask myself the same thing every day.
Ace is movin and shakin and keepin it real. He just finished up basketball, which he loved! And wanted to start Soccer, which I conveniently "forgot" to turn in, and now he wants to start baseball which I am also against. The worst days of my life are sitting in the stands of any sport, wondering why my kid doesn't get to play as much as the other kids and letting my imagination fill in the blanks. He's not old enough to notice or care much but it weighs heavy on me. It's especially hard when you play with the same set of 100 kids which you've known for three years now. We're not the new kids on the block anymore. (See more negative.)
On a lighter note...One day we were headed to Zumba and the kids come with me sometimes. Zumba is in a food court area of one of the many flea market areas of town and to get to it we have to walk by several shops. One candle shop had a sign hanging that advertised these "scents"
Sex on the Beach
normally I hurry everybody by and they hadn't noticed until the last time we went, they start giggling and I'm trying to make light of it and I said "Ew gross! What's Monkey Farts supposed to smell like?" Without missing a beat, Ace looks at me like DUH, and says "Bananas!"
"No. That's not at all what I said."
"Yes it is. You said it didn't look good when I fixed it."
"No, what I said was, you need to brush your hair."
"No. You said my hair didn't look good. Then you fixed it and then you said it looked cute."
"No, that's not what I said. Did you brush your hair?"
"No, but I didn't want to brush the curls out."
"Well, you have to use a pick, or your fingers so that you don't brush out the curls, but you have to do something so it doesn't look like bedhead."
"That's not what you said."
"That IS what I'm saying."
"You think I'm no good at fixing my own hair."
A nights reprieve and a chance to regroup and recharge batteries and we were back for "Party Wear" today at 4:00. Yep, she's an uptown girl.
In the end she didn't make it to the final four, which hurt her feelings for a quick minute. But we reminded her that she was one of the only girls who had never been in a pageant before and did super for her first time! And John quickly added that it probably had more to do with the fact that we didn't sell as many tickets and add space in the program. :) The boys all rallied around her and we went out for a bite of pizza to celebrate her beauty and bravery. She's the "Queen of Us" for sure.
Remember when you were a sophomore and somehow got the guts to ask Eddie Wagner to the Sadie Hawkins dance and he said yes? Okay, remember how your Mom decided it would be really funny to take him a bouquet of flowers and a chocolate bar, because boys are supposed to bring flowers and candy to a date? You said no, you were too shy, but she prevailed because she's the boss of you and eventually you thought, "yea, that's kinda funny". Then thirty minutes before the dance he called and said, "Why don't we just meet at the dance so we can hang out with our friends?" And your Mom made you go to the dance anyway, even though you wanted to crawl in a hole. Then, he took pity on you and drove you home and gave you your first kiss and the next day told all his friends it was like kissing a Saint Bernard? You remember that, right?
When your kids get to High School, you get to relive that ALL OVER AGAIN. And since you had the brilliant idea to have four kids....use your multiplication table. Yeah. And even though he says it's all fine, and they seem to be acting very mature and responsible about the whole thing, even though he says they really like being friends without the romance. You may as well be holding the phone when Eddie calls to say he'll meet you at the dance instead.
He got the kids together at the hotel and talked to them about scores. If I heard and understood correctly, there are five judges and they rank each band as they see it, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so-forth. All five judges rated the gold medal winner 1st, so 5 ones added up to a score of 5. If every judge agreed on the 2nd place band, the best possible score would have been a 10. The 2nd place band scored a 23, third 24, fourth 25 and fifth 26. He said he had never seen anything like the disparity in the scores, but "that's the way the cookie crumbles."
He's right, they were terrific. I'm only sad, because I know how badly they wanted it. For the Juniors and Seniors this was their last shot at a medal. It was late last night when it was all over. We headed to the hotel, slept it off and headed home this morning. We picked up John at about 4:45 and everyone was subdued but not destroyed. Tomorrow's a new day. He said his new goal was to be an All-Stater in the individual UIL competition coming up later in the spring. We could not be prouder!
Wow! What a week!
After the excitement of Saturday, we started Sunday with having our cars painted and papering the band halls with every poster you can imagine! There were posters for every section of the band with the kids pictures on them, "State" posters, "Congratulations" posters, smack talk posters, corny posters, inspirational posters, you name it, the Band Boosters covered it. And we covered it in lots of glitter.
There was more car painting and getting things ready for goody bags. Monday night practice and prayer meeting. Then signs painted with the kids names on them. We fed them Thursday morning after their last morning practice. The football boosters fed them breakfast on Friday morning. We had a big game on Friday (we lost, our perfect record marred) and then this morning their last practice before State followed by a prayer service and pizza party. Yes, we've been praying alot.
In addition to all this band fun, I went to two Halloween parties for the Littles on Friday. I got to Ace's party with a box of Capri sun coolers in my hand. His teacher said "Girlfriend! Keep your juice boxes I've got plenty!" So I went to put them on the shelf where his packpack sits, which is right behind his desk. As I approached, he whispered out of the corner of his mouth, "Leave the juice and go away." Can you believe that!? Well, I never! Actually, it made me laugh pretty hard.
Tomorrow roll call at 10:30 and rolling out to San Antonio around 11:00. The kids will be eating dinner tomorrow ni.ght at Mi Tierras. Monday morning we march 4th in preliminary competition at 9:45 a.m. I'm going to try to keep you updated on Monday if I can remember to pack everything, and the chargers to everything....
WE DID! (okay, John and the Band did.)
This is a picture of them at Region where we competed to go to Area. We then went to Denton on Saturday to compete in Area. The region performance was a little rocky, not their best effort. They knew it before they ever left the field, but it was enough to qualify.
Yesterday at Area, was EPIC! First, our Band Director's wife's father passed away this last week and he was unable to be here. For Area. Our thoughts were with them, and we were worried about how the kids would handle it. The forecast was rain; scattered rain, with a possibility of severe weather in the afternoon. John's Aunt and Uncle flew in from Amarillo to see him march. We were scheduled to march at 10:45 so roll call was 6:00 a.m. We dropped John off and went over to Walmart and picked up some poncho's and a couple of umbrella's in case it rained.
Their assistant director said, if it was light rain, they'd probably march. If it rained hard, it would be postponed. If most of the bands made it through preliminaries and THEN it started to rain hard, then the preliminary scores would be used instead of finals. Otherwise we would have finals and winners announced, five would advance to state.
We got to the stadium at about 10:00 a.m. It was cloudy and cool, pretty nice weather if the rain held off. We got into the stands, at 10:15 the judges had a fifteen minute break, it sprinkled just long enough for us to break out our ponchos and put them on just in case. At 10:30 the band before us took the field and our kids lined up four minutes later. At 10:45 as they were about to move out onto the field, the announcer came on and said "We need to make a public service announcement. There is lightening moving into the area in ten minutes and we must postpone the competition. We ask that all participants please get back on their buses and we recommend that all spectators leave the stands and wait in your cars until the weather has passed." We were stunned. They were 5 minutes from marching their show, the show was 8 minutes long and 2 minutes to exit the field. We missed it by FIVE MINUTES. The kids went back to the bus. Mind you, the pit has to roll All the heavy equipment back to the truck. It's a lot of equipment. We grudgingly started back down the stairs toward the exits. We started to sprint as the rain started halfway to the car. There was big lightening and a pretty good downpour. When it started to lighten up, we checked the radar on some one's cell phone and it looked like it was right on the edge of where we were, if it kept to the west it was fine, if it crept to the east...more to come. It stopped raining long enough for us to decide there was a chance it had passed, so we left the car and went back in the stands with the rest of the spectators that were in agreement. They had a picture of the radar on the scoreboard, so we could see the storm just to the east of us. Peach didn't want to wear her poncho because it felt cold and wet, she wanted an umbrella, which I told her she couldn't have because if the competition continued, the people behind her, wouldn't be able to see. So she grouched and complained and it started to rain again. Poncho hoods up, and after the first few minutes it came a flood, of cold heavy drops, I gave her an umbrella, while struggling to keep myself covered. It didn't let up, so finally I yelled down the row at Charlie, "This is crazy! We should go back to the car." So up again, down the stairs Charlie and the rest headed for the car, but by the time we made it to the front gate, it was barely sprinkling again, so I stopped at the Pep Wear wagon to buy John a T-shirt, Melee' was with me and as we stood there wrapping up our business, one of our parents came by and said, "They're coming! The kids are getting out of the bus, they're going to march!" So we ran out to the car to tell Charlie and throw my bag in the car. We run up and it starts to rain again. Melee' and Peach decide they don't want a poncho and they take an umbrella and I say "Fine, but we'll have to stand at the rail instead of going up in the stands." They had a bench near the rail so we squatted there on the bench as our kids stood in a circle near the end zone and began to warm up. And THE MONSOON BEGAN! It came down the hardest coldest rain, I have ever had the privilege of sitting in.
Those kids warmed up, turned around, stood at attention and marched out onto that field like nothing I've ever seen. Our parents and fans in the stands started screaming, the kids yelled "PRIDE!" and I started crying. I've never been so proud in my whole life. They marched out there in the driving cold rain and marched an eight minute show. I don't know how they could see anything. I don't know how they could play anything. I don't know how they could twirl anything. They marched that program as if they did it in the rain everyday and twice on Sundays. It's something we'll be talking about for years. They'll never forget it. The rain started to let up just a little toward the end, but not a lot. And one more band performed after we did before they postponed again.
We left and the kids went to lunch and they were SO PUMPED! They were so thrilled with how they did and playing in the rain gave them a hardship story they will tell over and over! They bonded and the atmosphere was unbelievable. It was an hour or two before the competition began again and we were on our way home, there would be no finals. Our arch nemesis marched in the sun, no rain for them. They came in first, we placed second. They beat us by one point. One point.
We are on our way to state this week, with a new confidence and excitement that I've never seen and we can't wait to see what happens on Monday the first!