Our life reminds me a lot of they lyrics in that Garth Brooks song, Fever.
"He says it's really kind of simple
Keep your mind in the middle
While your butt spins 'round and 'round "
Yeah. That's pretty much what our life feels like. Of course, he's singing about a rodeo and I'm referring to wrangling kids and...wait...
You know what? It's all the same. It's exactly like a rodeo.
Speaking of Garth Brooks songs...
There is another song of his I really like. The Dance. It was the last song I danced with the Big Guy to on our wedding night, 21 years ago. Yep, Friday was our 21st wedding anniversary. And we celebrated. Right?
Nope. Not even.
It was homecoming weekend and we have a senior and a sophomore so there was no rest for the weary. The rodeo was on. I was on the football field by 5:30 Friday night with the high school color guard team. There was eye shadow and false eyelashes to apply, layers of bronzer were needed, and there were flyaway hairs to spray down before the pre-game show. Then 3rd quarter brought the mad rush of uniform changes.
At half-time, we watched the presentation of the homecoming court and saw the king and queen crowned. I cried big alligator tears when the crown was placed on a varsity cheerleader with Down Syndrome. I was so proud of our student body, of our high school's staff and administration, and so happy for this girl and her parents, that the tears just rolled.
We left the football field at 11:00 with one more kid than we had arrived with. Something happens when we arrive at any school-sponsored event- we multiply. We always leave with more kids than we arrive with. We had a late dinner and tucked everyone into bed by 1:30 am.
We greeted the sun mere hours later to for the homecoming parade. The Big Guy dropped Tuna off with the marching band and then pulled the anime club float for the Boy. I hustled the little girls to the parade route so we could wave at big sister and brother, and Daddy. The little girls cheered and clapped and gathered candy thrown from the floats while I tried to pry my eyes open and down some caffeine.
Then it was "paint my nails" and "hurry up Mom!" and "do my hair?!" and "where's my tie?!?" and "Mom! There's lint all over my black pants!" and "(BLEEP) honey can you pick up the flowers?" and "come on! We have to go get your makeup on, you're making your brother late!" and then...
I stared in awe at my teens. There stood my son, all shaved and sharp in dress pants and a tie and my daughter, in a dress and full makeup. The Big Guy gave Tuna a corsage and I tried to hold back tears as I realized how quickly the years have passed. But, that moment passed in a flash because we were late for the Boy's date.
It was the Boy's last homecoming dance and his last year to participate in building the anime club float. Senior year is kind of bittersweet. I took photos alongside his date's parents and then I was on the run again. We had a whole hour before we had to meet up with Tuna's friends for photos and we had a purse to buy.
It was Tuna's first homecoming dance. She attended with friends and we took photos in the park before the dance. I struggled to hold back happy tears as I watched her smile and laugh with her friends.
The Big Guy spent most of the evening working at the house trying to prepare for the sheetrock crew. We met late Saturday night for dinner at Applebees. These late dinners have got to go. Someone dropped the Boy off after the dance and he joined us. Soon Tuna and her friends piled in. (And true to form, an extra kid jumped in my car when we left.)
It was there at the restaurant, approaching midnight and completely exhausted, that I had a serious moment of reflection.
I had been bummed because the weekend was so packed with the kids' activities that we didn't even have time to celebrate our anniversary. Then I realized...
This was the best anniversary ever. Ever. We've been married 21 years and we've been through some stuff together. Here we are, approaching the one-year mark of our house fire, still not living at 'home'. But, we are together. We've had each other to lean on and hold through this difficult year, and many others. When I'm weak, he carries me through. When he is weary, I carry him through. We balance each other.
Our favorite song, The Dance, says it all...
"Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the painBut I'd of had to miss the dance "
I've spent the weekend so over-filled with pride that it leaked out in big tears! I've got five of the most beautiful, amazing, talented children I've ever known. They are resilient and funny and strong. I got to watch those kids making the most of life this weekend- putting a corsage on a date's wrist, marching in the parade with the high school band, cheering on big brother and sister from the sidelines.
We did celebrate our anniversary and it was amazing. We were just too caught up in the busy moment to notice all of the celebrating we were doing. Those little moments we shared this weekend were priceless. The moment our eyes met and we smiled in pride at how awesome our kids looked all dressed up for the dance, holding hands on the bleachers at the football game, the tired smiles we exchanged from a distance as he drove along the parade route, the exhausted dinner we shared- those were little celebrations that only years of marriage could bring.
Life is good. This is the good stuff. These are our good ol' days.
The Big Guy bought me what might have been the most thoughtful, sweetest gift ever. He gave me 21 red roses (one for each year of marriage), 1 blue carnation (for our son), 4 pink carnations (for our daughters), 1 white carnation (for the baby we sent back to heaven), and 1 budding lily (for our first year together, our budding relationship). Sweetest. Thing. Ever. I so love that Big Guy!
On the agenda for this week: sheetrock, bath tub for the master bath, and delivery of sinks and toilets.
Yeah, baby. We are getting close! I can no longer see through the walls in the house, so I know it's getting close.