Fireworks and Dances and Tractors

Well, here it is… Monday already, and we’re still coming down off the high of one great weekend.  It’s nice when your weekend is good enough to carry you straight through the hard times of a Monday.

(Also?  I used the word nice up there, exactly like I’m in a 4th grade writing class and forgot that the teacher did an entire lesson on the smart board, where the class listed forty-nine fancy words that could be used instead of nice.)

On Friday night, our entire town turned out for the homecoming football game at the high school.  There was an enormous fireworks display at halftime, which Thing 2 didn’t enjoy as much as every other child in attendance.  In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that our preschooler downright loathed, hated and despised the exploding firecracks (as he calls them), if his horrendous screams of I HATE THIS, TAKE ME HOME, I WANT TO GO HOME, MAKE THEM GO AWAY, HOLD ME TIGHTER, MOMMY were to be taken seriously.  I think this is where Hubs and I must extend an apology to the entire audience and passersby at the time, because those frightened cries you heard were not a murder taking place; they actually belonged to our family, and we simply stood there with Thing 2  in our arms and declared, “It’ll all be over soon,” because what else could we do under the grand display?

In other words, it sounded much like a war zone in full swing, what with the explosions and the frantic screams for help.  I think the phrase you’re looking for is STELLAR PARENTING.  In our defense, Hubs and I were just leaning toward the parenting style that holds as its mantra, “If you can jump off the top of the playground slide, and give your mother a heart attack, right before you totally stick the landing, then you’re capable of getting through the firecracks for five-minutes in the halftime show.”

Here, here.

On Saturday, Hubs and a friend rented the world’s most enormous air compressor, which came on its own trailer and needed to be pulled around like it was part of a semi truck.  The purpose of this was to clean out everyone’s sprinklers, in preparation for the winter that lies ahead of us.  Water in the underground pipes follows the law of physics, as it freezes and breaks said pipes when the temperature plummets.  This is just a recipe for irritation and headaches and much cussing and digging, come spring, so it’s best to clear them out in the fall.

The boys and I joined Hubs, as we hauled that air compressor all over town to visit everyone.  And I should just be clear here:  When I say that we hauled it around town, I do mean that Hubs drove the Suburban and pulled the compressor, because my marriage vows clearly stated twenty years ago that SHE SHALL BE SUBJECTED TO ZERO TIMES OF HAVING TO PULL TRAILERS THROUGH BUSY STREETS and also SHE SHALL BE SUBJECTED TO ZERO TIMES OF HAVING TO BACK A TRAILER UP.  There are just some things that are okay to miss out on in life, and I feel that pulling and backing trailers are two things that fit this bill.

But, the good news is that we visited with EVERYONE.  At every house, the guys all celebrated some manly bonding over the process of hooking hoses up to sprinkler valves and taking turns pushing buttons and pulling levers on the biggest air compressor they’d ever seen, while I chatted with the wives, drank coffee, and kept the preschooler from running out into streets.

It could have been called Progressive Socialization, as we hopped from house to house and blew sprinklers out for numerous friends.

I will tell you that the biggest laugh, in all of our maturity, came at the house of our friends, Tyler and Heather, who have the almost-three-year-old Vivian.  Thing 2 and Vivian were having a ball playing with her toys, when Thing 2 announced, “Hey!  You have a baby stroller!”  This was immediately followed by him pushing that EMPTY stroller around their house at the speed of sound and endangering ceramic vases in every corner.  Eventually, Thing 2 must’ve decided that the stroller needed some cargo, because he loudly bellowed, “Hey, Vivian, let’s go to your bedroom!  We need a baby!”

I’m pretty sure that Tyler’s life expectancy decreased by a decade, as he announced, “And THAT is what the fathers of little girls never want to hear.”

But… a baby doll was discovered in the bedroom toybox, and the young couple was quite happy to push her all over the house, before they ditched that baby upside down on the sofa for the sandbox outside.

Talk about quality parenting.

And then… much later on Saturday night… our firstborn son attended his first high school dance, as he went to homecoming.  He and the cute neighbor boy and another good friend of theirs decided to skip the whole process of asking girls to go, and they just showed up at the dance together.

The biggest kicker to this mama’s heart is that our freshman boy is running around with sophomores who have DRIVER’S LICENSES now, and that means that they were not in favor of any mothers dropping them off at the school for the dance, because WE’LL JUST DRIVE OURSELVES AND SAVE SOME EMBARRASSMENT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.  So, while other families got to take pictures in the front entrance to the high school with enormous groups of friends and post them all to Facebook this weekend, we were only provided with the opportunity to snap a few pictures at home before the boys left.

IMG_6733 IMG_6735 IMG_6738(I know… I know.  It was totally worth $6,500 and fourteen million times saying, “Get your headgear on before you go to bed,” and seventy-seven million times saying, “Put the rubber bands on your braces right now,” to get that handsome smile up there.)

(And holy snap!  Is our big boy cute, or what?!)

And… so it begins, as Hubs and I set our very first curfew as parents on Saturday night, since the boys all wanted to go get something to eat after the dance wrapped up.

This is exactly the part where I would like to hijack my own blog for a shout out to my parents and declare, “I’m sorry that I ever wanted to stay out late as a high school kid.  I’m sorry that I ever thought you could just GO TO SLEEP while I was out late at night.  I’m sorry that I had no idea you really DID worry about me while I was gone, without knowing that sleep is impossible for mothers until their little flock is back home safely.”

I have no idea how I’m going to manage to stay awake late on the weekends now, in an effort to make sure that my son is home safely on time.  MaMaw likes to shut the lights off and crawl into bed around 8:30.

But, the boy came home with his buddies when the dance was over (AND A BIG SHOUT OUT TO FRIENDS WHO DRIVE REAL CARS, BECAUSE HUBS AND I DIDN’T HAVE TO VENTURE OUT INTO THE DARK TO PICK HIM UP!!!), and I pestered him with hundreds of questions.  Had he been a girl, I’m sure we would have talked long hours into the night, because that’s what girls just do.  However, I’m learning as a boy mom that boys are very short and precise in their answers.  This is what I got out of his evening:

Yes, it was fun.

Yes, I danced with girls.

Yes, that was plural, and I danced with more than one girl.

Yes, I was a gentleman, Mom.

The end.

I have nothing else to report about the boy’s experience at the homecoming dance, because he didn’t think anything else was noteworthy enough to share.

On Sunday morning (Are you sitting down for this?), Thing 2 slept in until 7:35.

That would be seven o’clock plus thirty-five more minutes.

This has NEVER EVER NOT AT ALL EVER NEVER happened in our house before.  At 6:50 yesterday morning, I was in his bedroom, making sure that he was still breathing, and YES!  Thank the Lord!  He was!  Clearly, all the fresh air and hard work involved with blowing out sixty sprinklers was a WIN for the parents, because we had one tired three-year-old.

So, when our rock star sleeper finally woke up, we went to church, and then we came home to watch the Broncos scrape out a win.

Last night, we went to some friends’ house for a big fall barbecue.  They live out in the middle of nowhere, on a little ranch, so there were tractor rides aplenty for Thing 2.  He got to ride with our friend, Paul, as he used the tractor to bring in a giant hay bale to feed the horses, and stars literally danced in our preschooler’s eyeballs.

Hubs and I have heard the phrase, “I fed horses on a real tractor” eighty-two billion times since last night.  (And I seldom exaggerate.)  I’m pretty sure it left a lasting impression on our son, and only solidified that he wants to grow up to have a career in tractor and combine driving.

The barbecue was a hoot.  We sat and talked with good friends over plates heaped high with delicious food, while the kids played in the dirt and jumped on the trampoline and climbed the rock retaining wall and drove Tonka trucks from here to the ends of the earth.

The dirt ran off Thing 2 in rivulets in his shower last night, and I pulled dried leaves out of his curls when I washed his hair.

I think that’s pretty much a genuine testimony to a weekend well lived.

Happy Monday, y’all.  Happy Monday.

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