This past Sunday we embraced our state’s good fortune of hosting the XLVI Superbowl. I loaded up the car and drove four boys (ages almost-10, 12, 12 and 13) to Indianapolis. This morning, a friend asked how I handled that trip. My one-word answer was simply, “Shipley,” which is my best friend from college and (genetics aside) sister. During the past 24 years, she has redefined the definition of “good friend” or “best friend.” She has been there for me when even those closest to me weren’t. She is, simply, the sister everyone would want and she is the best friend everyone deserves. (BTW, I stole that line from Oprah, who used it to describe her BFF Gayle. It doesn't mean I mean it any less, having stolen it. I think it puts us in pretty good company!) Had it not been for Shipley, I may have returned home with a few less children. (Oh, I kid…)
The trip down there was touch & go at its start… I ended up leaving my huge travel mug of freshly brewed Starbucks IN. MY. KITCHEN. I realized this about 10 minutes into the trip. Let’s just say it was a loooooong ride to the next Starbuck’s.
By the time we reached Indianapolis and Shipley’s house for an early lunch, the boys were ready to be out of the car. This point was clearly illustrated when it was time to re-load the car and I see two of the boys involved in a chase – through Shipley’s muddy front yard. Neither were listening to me telling them to “STOP!”, so I had to physically stop the “chaser.” I reached for the sleeve of his sweatshirt as he went whizzing by and accidentally grabbed the hood instead. Totally horsecollared him and he dramatically collapsed on the driveway. Oh, of course they both swore it was all fun & games… but we all know that’s until he actually caught him. Then they all piled into the new car, tracking mud all over the carpet. I was pissed speechless, so Shipley took the lead and skillfully lectured them about how they’d ALL be helping clean the mud out of my car after I get home from work today. She had them agreeing to everything. Thank goodness. My only option was to yell until my head exploded. Which would have meant another mess to clean up.
We made it to downtown without another incident, and proceeded to take in all the NFL awesomeness proudly on display. We even had ourselves a true “celebrity sighting” when Jimmy Fallon (dressed like a woman… which was a little weird) walked in front of us at Monument Circle. As we’re staring and (of course) taking photos, I hear from behind me, “CUT! Okay,… we got it!” So it appears there was a television taping situation going on. I’ve never watched Fallon’s show, but I’ll be watching starting tonight to find out a.) if we got into the crowd shot, and b.) what the hell he was doing dressed in drag.
The NFL Experience was exactly that – an experience. Up until yesterday, I’ve only stood in hours-long lines at Disney World. However, we endured a two-hour wait to have each boy attempt a field goal kick. None made the 20-yd. attempt, but they gave it a great shot. We walked around a lot after that, and tried getting a player autograph. The administration made a last-minute location change, so we totally missed Pierre Garcon on the autograph stage. The kids all got a Cliff Notes lesson in price-gouging when they realized our round of hot dogs and bottled water for six of us cost damn near $60. It seems the boys all enjoyed our last stop after leaving the convention center: The Colts Store at Circle Center Mall. Player jerseys were marked down from $129.99 to $39.99 and we had a 15 percent off coupon. S-C-O-R-E!!! All four boys walked out with a jersey, and Shipley grabbed a treat for both of us at the Godiva Chocolate store. That? Is a game-winner right there.
We rolled back into our driveway just before 10pm (an exception on a school night) completely exhausted. It had been a good day – not without behavior reminders being tossed around like hot potatoes, but still a good day. Most days I spend more time than I care to admit wondering if I do enough for the kids. Most days I feel like a rabid Sheltie, snarling and snapping at the heels of my herd. I hate those days, but if just one kid would, for the love of God, listen when asked to do something and follow through, I would feel less inclined to nag. But it’s days like yesterday, even with my nagging… I think I may have scored a point in my sons’ books.