Wrapping Up the Weekend

Have you ever had one of those weekends where it feels like a month passed between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening?


Me neither.

Except maybe for this weekend, because, sweet mercy! Did we ever cram if plum full!

I think it all really started on Thursday night, with the boy’s final baseball game of the season. I wish y’all could have been there, because our boy SMACKED the ball! Oh, people! The little man stepped up to the plate, took his left-handed stance, swung at the first pitch, and shot it clear out to left field. He gained two (count ’em: one, two!) RBIs for himself on that one, and he eventually made it around all the bases (after a couple other batters had approached the plate) to score another run for his team. Hubs and I cheered until we were hoarse, and the boy’s grandmother may have jumped up and down a bit in the bleachers. (She is very refined like that.) When the boy came up to bat for the second time Thursday evening, he stepped up to home plate, gave his ferocious look to the pitcher, and whacked the very first pitch over the second baseman’s head, which brought everyone to their feet in the stands, as he drove in another RBI and tied the game up. There was much shrieking and cheering and high-fives exchanged in the spectator section.

And then, after coming back from being behind by 6 runs, the boy’s team lost, 7 to 9. They just couldn’t snag three more runs to win it.

But do you know what? That kid of ours didn’t care one whit about the final outcome of the game, because we had promised him, for the first time ever, that he could eat dinner from the concession stand.

That boy of ours is pleased by the smallest little things (namely, day-old hot dog buns filled with cheap, boiled hot dogs, slathered in ketchup and mustard). The boy and Enzo lead a rough life, because their mamas tend to feed them from the bottom of the food pyramid, instead of the very tip-top portion of the giant triangle. Ballpark hot dogs squeeze themselves into the top there. Needless to say, we usually bring the boy home after baseball games and stuff him full of grilled steaks and poached salmon and scrambled eggs. (Not all at once, mind you.) Enzo’s parents do the same thing, only Enzo’s dad is a chef, so their family dinners have a few more exotic touches than ours have.

But yes, on Thursday night, the boy finally scored a hot dog and a Twix bar for dinner, and he turned around from the concession stand with an enormous grin on his face, holding his hot dog, and then dumped it onto the concrete at his feet exactly four seconds after stepping away from the concession stand. Apparently all that yellow and red mustard and ketchup acted like a lubricant, and the hot dog slid out of the bun like a bobsled on an Olympic track. The look of sadness on his poor little face brought forth three adults waving dollar bills, who all volunteered to buy our kid a second hot dog.

On Friday afternoon, the boy’s good buddy, John, was in town from Bigger Town, USA. The boy met John when they were both taking swimming lessons at the local pool together. They were both four years old, about as tall as mice, and each of them weighed a whopping 30 pounds. Now, they’ve doubled their weights since then, and, even though John has moved away, the two of them still stay in touch, and they still get together whenever one of them ventures to the other’s hometown.

John’s mom dropped him off with me while I was still working. The boy had no idea that John was even in town, so we surprised him, when I picked him up from Mam and Pa’s house.

There may have been some nine-year-old rejoicing and hugging and hopping up and down.

And then Hubs and I took the boys to meet Cody and G at the theater, because…hello! Despicable Me was here, and we had been waiting for that one!

Here is my official review (because we all know that I’ve turned into a remarkable movie critic on this crazy blog). Run. Run like the wind to see it. People, I laughed so hard, I realized at one point in the movie I was actually slapping Cody’s leg, over and over. Thankfully, she humored me well, and didn’t snarl at me or shout out, “Ouch!” Yes, I was a bit embarrassed to see that I’d resorted to slapping other people’s legs while I was laughing hysterically, but dang! I could barely contain my enthusiasm for this little bit of cinematic wonderfulness.

And when you see it, go ahead and see if you don’t laugh until you weep when the little girl hugs her newly-won stuffed unicorn from the carnival and screams, “HE’S SO FLUFFY!!”

Clearly, you had to be there. Cody has the bruises to prove it.

John spent the night with us Friday night, and when the boys woke up on Saturday morning, they opted not to comb their hair. I did, however, shove them back into the bathroom as I pointed at the toothpaste.

For some reason, they decided to drag out the boy’s battery-operated Jeep, which his grandparents gave to him on his second birthday, and which Hubs and I have been entirely too lazy to toss into the back of the truck and haul to the thrift store. Or the dump.

The steering wheel snapped off the Jeep years ago, and the boy was determined to fix it Saturday morning. Hubs glanced out the window and asked me, “How many nine-year-olds do you know who can fix a chassis?”

Um, how many girls do you know who graduated when Rick Springfield was at the top of the charts, who have no idea what a chassis actually is?

Apparently, it’s the underpart of the vehicle. Who knew?

I think Hubs’ head swelled with pride to see his boy tipping the old Jeep up and making sure that the newly-installed steering wheel actually turned the wheels, exactly like it was supposed to do.

I swear, if the boy had approached Hubs and asked for a handyman and a creeper, Hubs would have heard the angels sing sweet hallelujahs. Thankfully, when you’re young like this, you seldom need a jack for your Jeep, as they tend to be rather lightweight.

Yes, the Jeep was fixed. (Did you have any doubts that it would be, with the boy working as Chief Mechanic?) And yes, the two nine-year-olds crammed themselves into that Jeep and took it for a ride around the cul de sac, once it was running properly. Yes, their knees looked like grasshopper legs sticking out of it.

On Saturday night, I went to a concert, people.

My friend, Nancy (bless her heart), had a rough go of it this last year. She had a little routine surgery, which was supposed to be quite minor. It all seemed to go well, but then she had some incredibly huge, unexpected setbacks which landed her in the ICU for weeks. Her husband and four-year-old son actually heard the doctors say, “Um, we hope she pulls through this.” Needless to say, the prayer warriors set upon Nancy with a purposeful vengeance, and she recovered. Truly, that girl is lucky to still be here. Friday was her birthday, and she wanted to celebrate the fact that she was actually still here on July 9th, so she called a mass of girls up and said, “We’re going to a concert on Saturday night for my birthday. I’ve bought a block of tickets. I’m picking everyone up.”

I had to have Nancy tell me three times who was even putting the concert on. Honest to goodness, I’d never even heard of him.

It was Rodney Atkins.

I texted Amy and asked, “Who is this guy, anyway?”

She texted back and said, “I have no idea. PH told me that he sings the song If You’re Going Through Hell, and PH has declared that it’s our family’s theme song.”

Hubs asked me what concert we were going to, and I repeated Amy’s text message, verbatim. He snorted and said, “PH had his house built for him in less than nine months! He doesn’t know what hell really is. After he’s spent two years building a house himself, tell him to get back to me, and then he can claim MY theme song as his family’s theme song!”

Well then.

True to her word, Nancy picked us all up, and five of us girls crammed into her diesel truck, which sounds like a small jet on a runway. We ended up with a leftover ticket, because Girl Number Six (who was someone I didn’t even really know) couldn’t come at the very last minute, so Nancy spent some time calling around, trying to get a sixth girl to join us. Everyone had excuses: camping, at the movie theater, company in town, birthday dinners. So, just five of us went, and let me tell you this one thing:

Holy cow, but was it ever loud!!

And also? When you’re at a concert with the volume at those decibels, you cannot sit and talk at all, which sort of annoyed me. I mean, seriously. Amy and Janell and I would have enjoyed the concert so much more if the music was more of a background sound, so that we could have talked through it!

At 9:00, Susan texted me to say that she’d just gotten out of the movie with her kids, and she was more than willing to use that extra ticket.

Amy (who was wearing wicker wedgie heels that made her stand twelve inches taller than she normally is) and I made our way down the stands and met Susan at the gate. The ticket-taking woman asked Amy, “Don’t your feet hurt?”

Amy can endure most anything for fashion.

These are all snapshots to prove that Jedi Mama was at a concert, dude! I think the last concert that I attended was one that I wore my Swatch Watch too.

Clearly, quite some time ago.

I’ve never been the giant concert-goer. That was more Hubs’ department. It was really a coincidence that Nancy got tickets for everyone to hit this concert this weekend, because earlier this week, I found a little box full of old concert ticket stubs that Hubs has saved from yesteryear.

We laughed, because Hubs apparently was willing to shell out major dollars to see the big hair bands in action. In the course of one year (one year, people!), Hubs saw Def Leppard, Cinderella, Ratt, and Metallica. The dollar amounts on his ticket stubs indicated that Hubs was willing to trade hard-earned American dollars in the amount of a month’s worth of rent at college to be up close and personal with James Hetfield.

Before I left for the concert, Hubs said, “Wow. Your concert starts at 7:30. You do know that there will be an opening band first, right? And that Rodney Atkins probably won’t take the stage until after 9:00? You’re going to be out late tonight; you’ll be out with the younger crowd, honey. I hope you can stay awake that long and enjoy the show.”

People, I really do love that man. I don’t know why, but I do.

In the course of the concert (after I’d had my cochlea blown plum out of my inner ear), Amy and I discovered that there are several things that can determine a person’s age at a concert. I have compiled a list of comments that one (or both of us) made during the show, which may or may not reveal our real ages.

1. (Pointing to the watch on the wrist) “It’s 9:35! It’s past my bedtime!”
2. “I hope the next song he plays is a quiet one!”
3. “I think if we come to the concert next year, we’re going to need to get tattoos.”
4. “Oh, I could never get a tattoo; I’d faint at the needles involved.”
5. “I think we’ve both covered too much skin at this concert. Apparently, we missed the dress-code memo, which stated, ‘Wear your shirt made out of dental floss and your three-inch-long shorts.’
6. “Do you see those people standing around the stage? Those tickets cost $50! I’d never spend fifty clams to stand up for four hours.”
7. “I’d spend $50 to stand up at a Beth Moore event.”
8. “OH! I would, too! I’d spend $50 to stand up in front of Beth Moore’s stage! And also, I’d probably spend $50 to stand up for Travis Cottrell!”
9. “At the rate we’re going, we’re not going to be home until 11:30 tonight.”
10. “The last time I was out until 11:30 was at Prom!”

11. “I’m about to have a strobe-light-induced seizure, here!”

When I got home last night, Hubs asked, “How was the concert?”

I immediately yelled, “Huh? What?” My ears were ringing like crazy!

I told Hubs, “I think I would have liked the concert even better, if it had been sort of quieter.” Hubs just shook his head at me and said, “Yeah, well I’m not there yet; I still like it loud.” According to Hubs, if the speakers aren’t on fire, the volume can still be cranked upward.

But oh, people, we had a marvelous time on Saturday night!

Dear Nancy, you can really throw a birthday party, let me tell you! Thank you for getting us all tickets. And I’m so glad that you’re still around this July! You’re a honey of a girl.

Today, Hubs and I got up and went to church, and goodness! I think that Pastor John’s sermon was aimed smack at me, and me alone. It was fabulous.

And then Hubs and I took the boy to see The Last Airbender. The boy has seen this movie advertised for a few months now, and it was actually the first show that he TRACKED from previews on TV to arrival date at Small Town’s local theater. The kid wanted to see it so badly, he even offered to use his very own money from dog-sitting to pay for the three of us to go.

I, too, had seen the previews, and science fiction movies are not my genre, people.


Hubs suggested that I have the boy call a friend, and we could drop the two of them off at the theater, so that we wouldn’t have to endure it. In a make-believe world, this would be a great idea. In my mother-hen world, this wasn’t an option. Hence, the three of us went.

And I can say this about it: It’s numero uno on my list entitled Movies That Almost Killed Me.

It was full of kung fu and ballet moves and rock throwers and air and water and ancient tattoos and fire tossers and dragons and enormous animals that looked like they were straight out of Where the Wild Things Are and punching and kicking and journeys, and it all bled together in my head (much like this sentence without commas), until I had a Last Airbender headache.

I only recommend this movie if you have a lot of noise going on at your house, and you need a dark spot to take a nap. If that’s the case, then find the most comfortable seat in the theater, and bring a blanket and your Tylenol PM tablet.

And (whew!) after we’d wasted two full hours of our lives in that movie (which the boy loved — just loved! Oh! He loves the kung fu moves!), we drove over to Jeffrey and Cody’s house, where we sat in chairs in their yard. Cody and I talked and talked and talked (because, according to Hubs, that’s all I really ever do), and Jeff made Hubs a glass of orange juice.

Special orange juice.

Because Hubs had just put in his time at The Last Airbender, and he apparently needed a special orange juice.

And then we came home, and Hubs grilled the best steaks ever! Ever, people! Steaks that would have made Martha Stewart rise up from her chair and clap from the heart.

And then I baked a torte, which required many, many ingredients, and I demolished my kitchen plum to pieces.

And now?

Well, clearly it’s time to put this weekend to bed, people. Hubs is watching Ice Road Truckers, and that’s our signal that all the excitement is officially finished.

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