On His Next Adventure, The Boy Will Be Hunting Grizzly Bears

On Friday afternoon, the boy and I piled into Hubs’ mama’s Avalanche, and the two of us drove to Smaller Town, USA.

We were in the Avalanche because, if y’all remember, Bubba Suburban barfed up his starter and left me stranded, so I broke up with him.  He was still in ICU on Friday afternoon, and I made zero plans to visit him, because I don’t like being stood up.

Also?  Hubs adores the name of his parents’ vehicle.  The Avalanche.  He told me that the name alone was worth buying one for.  I told him that if Bubba Suburban officially flat-lined, I just wanted a Slug Bug.  I think it would make me happy to drive by a carload of children being toted hither and yon and know (JUST KNOW!  WITHOUT A DOUBT!) that many fists had just slugged many thighs in that car, as they all squealed out, “SLUG BUG!  PINK SLUG BUG!  I GOT IT!”

What a total day-brightener THAT would be.

When the boy and I reached Smaller Town, look who we ran into.

Somewhere, there’s an orthodontist looking at this last picture online and saying, “How on earth do I get in touch with that family?  THAT MOUTH will buy me a little vineyard in Italy!”


Yes, it will.  Our orthodontist already has his grape seeds picked out.

Ben and his mama, Bridget, drove up to Smaller Town from Small Ranching Community, because they had invited the boy to spend the ENTIRE WEEKEND with them.

The entire weekend.

As in ALL OF IT.

It was exactly like sending the boy to a weekend-long summer camp, which I’ve never done before, because of OVERPROTECTIVE HELICOPTER MOTHER.  That boy of ours had detailed plans to move into a tent pitched in Ben’s yard, and he wasn’t coming home until Sunday.  Thankfully, I knew he was in excellent hands with Bridget.

She tends to parent exactly like I do, but Hubs says that she has gained a wee bit more altitude on her parental helicopter than I’ve managed to achieve.

So, I kissed the boy good-bye, and I drove back to Small Town, where Hubs and I had a date to watch the Small Town High boys play some football.

And play it, they did!  Small Town High plum RAN OVER the visiting team Friday night, by a score of 62 to 6.  We have a new fellow on the team this year — a new fellow whose parents had the audacity to move him to a brand new town for his senior year of high school — and he is rocking the show for us.  He had SIX touchdowns on Friday night, people!


The record for single-game touchdowns for Small Town High School is seven.

I set that record, back in the day, because I can throw a pigskin a powerfully long ways.  The coach referred to me as his Secret Weapon.  I’d stuff my pigtails beneath the helmet, grunt and growl a little for good measure, and then I’d go out there on the field and unload a long Hail Mary that made ESPN’s highlights for the day.

Oh, people.  I kid.

My football knowledge is limited to the fact that the quarterback throws the ball, the running back runs the ball, and the concession stand at Small Town High sells the best Laffy Taffy this side of the Mississippi River.  I attend football games with enthusiasm and grins, but I go to cheer when good things happen.  I always know WHEN to cheer, because Hubs is usually right beside me, busting out in applause.  I also go to football games to TALK TO PEOPLE IN THE STANDS (I know that this will come as a complete surprise to y’all), and to make a valiant effort at catching Touchdown T-Shirts that are launched out of the T-shirt shooters.

For the record, Small Town’s T-shirt Shooter needs some serious attention given to its velocity and distance problems.  Hubs says that it needs a small gas tank and the trigger switch from a barbecue grill.

Also on Friday night, we drug the prodigal Bubba Suburban home.  And by we, I mean Hubs and his dad did this.  My job was to drive the Avalanche BEHIND all the towing and the pulling.  When the guys looped the tow rope onto the hitch, I made the comment that, “Goodness!  That didn’t look all that tight!  And was it gonna hold?”  I received two irritated stares that said, “This is not our first rodeo.”


Apparently they knew exactly what they were doing, because it wasn’t even worth the battery power in the Avalanche to turn on my flashing lights, because Hubs yanked Bubba home without even slowing down the surrounding traffic.

On Saturday morning, Hubs donned his ugly clothes, and he crawled beneath Bubba Suburban.  In a black thundercloud of conversation with the vehicle, Hubs managed to yank the deceased starter off.


Oh, glorious day!

I met up with a pack of about fifteen girls, and we all crammed ourselves into two aisles, and we sang our hearts out as Travis Cottrell rocked the stage for Jesus, and then I took six entire notebook pages worth of handwritten notes.  This simulcast wasn’t MY first rodeo, either, so I went prepared.  I brought my Bible and my notebook and my coffee and my WOODEN CUTTING BOARD.  And yes, for the record, a couple of my darling friends giggled at my cutting board and said, “Really, Mama; is that necessary?”

And then EACH AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM later remarked that they wished that THEY had been BRILLIANT ENOUGH to bring a cutting board that would serve as a makeshift lap desk.  They all asked to borrow my cutting board.  They all said that they, too, would come prepared for the next simulcast with their own kitchen gadgetry.

And, people, listen.  Beth preached it on Saturday.  I wrote notes until my hand throbbed with all the cramping, and I got myself a Word.

Or twenty-six.

Some seven and a half hours later, I came back home, with a full heart and a whole lot of information to process and think about and pray over, because my mind was spinning from all that Beth had said.

And guess what?

The prodigal Suburban was up and running like a dream when I came home.  Hubs had used the paddles to plum stop all the flat-lining, and he was showered and handsome as ever.

(Hubs was handsome.)

(Bubba is just okay looking.)

So, with no small boy at home, Hubs and I had a date.  A REAL DATE.  A date that involved dinner at a swanky hotspot downtown.  A date that involved real conversations.  And then we walked straight across the street from the restaurant, and we went to the movie to see Contagion, because Heather and Tyler said that it was a good flick.

I don’t know about it being GOOD, because it was all about an uber contagious disease, which mutated and spread, worldwide, in two days because of transcontinental flights.  And when there’s no vaccine for a new virus that is spread through coughing and TOUCHING OBJECTS THAT A SICK PERSON HAS TOUCHED BEFORE YOU, the dang thing went global instantly and killed millions.

When we left the theater, Hubs went out coughing on purpose, which caused a few heads to turn, because Hubs thinks he’s hilarious.  And then I gave myself a bath with the bottle of Germ-X that I keep in the Suburban, and decided that I could make a surgical mask look trendy and sophisticated.

And then!

Then I got a little text from Bridget that read, “How do you feel about the boy going flying with Nate in the morning?  We have a bull who has gone AWOL, and Nate wants to look for him from the air.”

Why don’t you just cut my heart right out of my chest, Girl?

Hubs was all for it, from the first nanosecond.  I talked to my friend, Peggy.  She has raised an adventurous boy of her own to adulthood.  She told me to send my boy off in the plane.  I talked to my friend, Heather, who has a college-aged daughter.  She, too, told me to send my boy flying.

So, I puked up some blood, and then I called Bridget and said, “Fly away.”  And THEN I called about eight girls and Pastor Adam and said, “Um, my boy is going to be flying in the morning in a two-seater plane, as he helps Nate the pilot look for a lost bull from the sky.  And since God never calls a Nervous Nelly Mother to walk alone, will y’all join me in some INTENSE PRAYER tonight?”

Thankfully, I have very excellent friends.

So then I went to bed, and listen, people.

I.  Did.  Not.  Sleep.

Not only had I managed to gain some altitude on my parental helicopter, I had basically PARKED THE HELICOPTER ON THE GROUND AND WALKED AWAY FROM IT!  You can bet your favorite scarf that Jesus and I were wrapped up in some long conversations for most of the night, which involved me telling Him that He should REALLY, SERIOUSLY watch over a small two-seater plane at dawn.

And guess what, people?

It all turned out great.

Hubs and I met Bridget and Nate and the boys in Smaller Town on Sunday, and my boy talked nonstop (TALKED WITHOUT CEASING!!) about how cool flying in a two-seater plane is, and how he wants his pilot’s license, and how he wants to buy a plane, and how they found the crazy bull, one pasture over, and how they examined water tank levels from the air, and how he and Nate wore headsets and talked to one another, and how HE LOVES THE FLYING!

Basically, parking my helicopter and letting the boy experience life is going to turn me into Rainman.  It won’t be long before I am a full-time resident at an institution for craziness, shuffling around in my bathrobe and waiting for The Wheel of Fortune to come on the TV set, while my fishsticks cook in the kitchen.

And that, people, was our weekend.

I think it goes without saying that we all went to bed EXTREMELY EARLY last night, and that we all slept the sleep of a Suburban that has puked up his starter.


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