Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Big Weekend: Part 2

Remember the Part 1 post a couple of months back? Well here is Part 2 of that weekend. Better late than never. 

My boys also had a big day the Saturday of B's birthday weekend. A while back my Uncle Kenneth (a/k/a Uncle Stinky - and no, he doesn't stink) texted me asking if he could take Grant to Auburn's homecoming. Kenneth took me to my first Auburn football game so I thought it would be super special if he could take Grant to his first as well. I knew how much Professor would appreciate it. However, I was a bit torn because I knew Mac wouldn't understand. He bleeds orange and blue. He would be devastated to know Grant was going and he wasn't. I didn't immediately respond and instead called Rachel to seek some advice. In true RaRa fashion Martha said, "I'm taking the girls so I'll just get an extra ticket and take my Baby Love with me."

So it was done. Both Grant and Mac would have their first Auburn football experience with two of the biggest Auburn fans on the planet. Perfect!

Well almost.

What about Reid?

Initially I planned on letting him hang with us girls but not only did I not want to take away from Bethany I also wanted him to have a special day. Meems to the rescue. And let me tell you, he thought he was big stuff having Mimi all to himself to do whatever his heart desired. Leading up to that day, every time Grant and Mac would talk about going to the game Reid would follow with, "YEAH, but I get to stay with Mimi ALL by myself." :)

It was an early kickoff that day which meant they would all be leaving before the chickens even woke up. Being that I was going to be in Decatur until late Friday night, mom and dad kept the boys for me. It worked out perfect because Kenneth and Rachel and the girls were all headed to mom and dad's Friday as well. They would all be under one roof, ready for Saturday.

I knew Bueller would have the time of his life with his RaRa, GaGa and Mags.
FACE PAINT!! I told him for my first game I got tiger paws
painted on my face. He wanted them too. ;)
And of course he did. He received the whole Auburn football experience with some of his favorite people. What more could a little Auburn fan ask for?

What Grant didn't know before he got to Auburn was that cousin Anna had some connections from her time working as a Tigerette. She worked for the Athletic Department in student recruiting. (I hope I got that right, Anna). Boy did she ever hook him up! He received the AU royal treatment and then some.
In the Heisman room with Stinky
Dyer's {now former} locker
Championship ring
Pre-game press conference :)
In awe of Cam's jersey and Heisman trophy
The official Trooper Towel
National Championship Trophy
New hat and jersey
Meeting up with brother
They both got the jerseys they wanted. Of course.
Spoiled much? :)
The lady who made it all happen
You can read Anna's account of the day here. She was very sweet to keep me posted all throughout the day with lots and lots of picture and text messages. Between Anna, Rachel, my mom and Kenneth I'm surprised my phone wasn't smoking. ;)

While Grant and Mac were living it up in Auburn, Reid was having a big time himself - just he and his Mimi. A movie, a visit to the mall, a train ride, and his favorite:
Build-A-Bear!! All things Auburn was the theme for the day, naturally.

Truth be told this post has been sitting in my drafts for quite some time. I didn't know how I wanted to go about bringing this next part up. Although it had to be because it was such a big part of why the day was so special. I won't really get into specifics other than to say that my aunt and uncle have two little boys in heaven. Anna's two brothers, Joshua (who actually had a twin they lost very early in the pregnancy) and Zachary went to be with Jesus after only a few short hours on this earth. Anna (born on Christmas Eve) is their miracle baby. Kenneth made the comment more than once throughout the day with Grant that, “This is what it would have been like.” It was a very emotional day for everyone, especially Kenneth.

And while I don't understand – because they're two of the most good-hearted, God-fearing people I know and I can't think of two people who would be better suited to raise boys - why he never got the chance to have those days on this earth with his own sons, I'm beyond touched and honored that my son was the one with whom he had his “best day ever in Auburn.” I look forward to the day when Grant is older and I can share with him just what this day meant.

And of course there were some funnies along the way too. Kenneth emailed me a few days after the game so I would have a record of the day. I hope he doesn't mind that I'm sharing it so I will always have it.
I will remember 11/19/2011 for the rest of my life. Memories were created that made me laugh so hard that I think Grant thought I was crazy.  Thinking back on the memories I tend to get a little choked-up, too.  Anyway, the day started with the ride to Auburn and the questions began. Gee-whiz!!! The questions ranged from my GMC pickup to being a college student/athlete.  We get to Auburn. He did not know about going inside Jordan-Hare to visit the locker room, etc.  Anna was the perfect hostess.  He was treated like a recruit by everyone!  I was treated like yesterday's newspaper.  His eyes lit up when Anna asked him if wanted to go on the field.  So, we walked on the turf of Pat Dye Field!!  He kept saying: "This is awesome." Went back into the locker room.  All he wanted was to see Michael Dyer's locker.  Anna found it and he just stared at Dyer's uniform, pads, helmet, shoes, etc.  Again - awesome.  So after some time he decided he was hungry and wanted to go shopping.  We stop by a Starbuck's where he had "The best hot chocolate, ever!" Then the shopping began.  He's a patient shopper.  $40 must be!!!  He FINALLY found himself a fitted Auburn cap and couple of other things.  Total cost $22.00.  He asked me how much that left I told him $18.00.  He shouted "Only $18.00!"  He just shook his head.  We had breakfast at a local eatery where he had a chocolate chip cookie and a Sprite.  (I quickly realized that Sprite is the beverage of choice)  He did buy an Auburn football and few other things depleting the remaining $18.00.  Mission accomplished, the money was spent.   
The game - Our seats where in the upper deck section 61 row 23 seats 9 and 10.  Why are the sections, rows and sets numbered? A suitable explanation was given.  The word awesome described the view, the Auburn Tigers, the Auburn University Marching Band and the eagle's, Spirit, flight around Jordan-Hare prior to kickoff.  Mid way during the 1st quarter Grant was looking up and behind him.  I asked him what he was looking for and he said the concession stand.  I told him that we had to go down the steps to the concession area.  He was not thrilled.  The steps are kinda steep.  He waited and decided the hunger was too great and would venture down the steep incline.  So, we risked life and limb and travelled down to the concessions for popcorn and Sprite.  We make it back to our seats.  Mid way during the 2nd quarter Grant says:  "Oh, no.  I have to go to bathroom."  Not waiting to travel back down the steps he looks at me and asks:  "Do you have an empty water bottle?"  The gentlemen sitting in front of us doubled over laughing.  I said no so we went back down the steps.  (I think he would have used a water bottle if I had had one)  He enjoyed the halftime show by the AUMB.  Mid way during the 3rd quarter he asked:  "How much longer?"  He wanted to go throw his new football. We stay until the beginning of the 4th quarter.  As we were walking down from the upper deck he said "I have not seen a Dippin' Dot's.  Do they have one here?"  Thus the search began.  As our search is going on I notice the crowd begins to cheer so we run up on the tunnels to see what's going on.  As we're running up the tunnel we're met by a guy that looks like Santa Claus but in regular clothes!!  Long white beard, hair and chubby.  I said "Look Grant it's Santa!"  Grant came to an immediate stop and just gazed at the guy.  The man heard me, winked, and looked at Grant and said: "I guess I'll see you next month."  In a high pitched whisper Grant said "Yes, sir."  I said to Grant "Who knew that Santa was an Auburn fan!"  He said "I guess he was in his regular clothes so he could enjoy the game without being bothered." The people standing around us watching the entire scene unfold and laughed, loudly.  Oh, yes, there is one vendor at Jordan Hare Stadium that sells D-Dots.  A chocolate order was placed.  We found a couple of empty seats and watched  some of the 4th quarter.  I asked him how were the D-Dots.  He said "They're good.....taste like dirt."  He ate 'em.  Goofy kid.  As we're walking back through the campus headed to the truck he says he has to wiz, again.  He looks up says "Bushes, I can go there"  I said "Dude, NO!!  I know of a business we can go to that has a restroom."  Look, I'm a guy too and I know that we think that the world is our urinal but gee.  So, anyway we make it back to truck, get his football and throw it to each other near Toomer's Corner.  Rachel, the rest of the kids, Anna and Brent meet us there, too.  
So many more things I will tell you about that day.  I will say this is the first time that I have been to an Auburn game where the game did not matter.  Spending time with others you love is what's important.  Thanks to you and Chris for letting me spend the day with Grant.  I'll always remember that day. 
Love you more!!!
Kenneth, thank you. I don't think any of us will ever forget that day.

And because after that email I feel the need to clarify, my boys don't make it a regular occurrence to use a water bottle as a urinal. Obviously sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and my empty Dasani bottles rolling around on my floorboard have come in handy a time or two. That's just one of the advantages of having boys. They do, however, use the outside on a regular basis AT HOME (that's a plus of where we live). We've since had the talk that it's only ok at home. Or the hunting land. Or out back at Mimi and Granddaddy's house. Or at Big Daddy and Grandmama Norton's house. Ok I see where this could get confusing. I'll admit... I'm a bit envious. If only it were that easy for us gals. :)

I think it's safe to say Grant and Mac's first experience with Auburn football was a hit.
And as much fun as Reid had, he will quickly let you know that it's his turn next. ;)


The Sewell Family said...

Seriously...I just lost it! I have always had a soft spot for Kenneth. What a sweet day for everyone! Love you.

Angie said...

I laughed out loud when he asked for a empty water bottle and had a tear too reading this!! What a special day and memory!!

I promise promise promise to catch my blog up 2morrow night! love ya!

Ford Family said...

What a sweet post...I love how Kenneth followed up with you and gave you his outlook on the day in email for you to cherish! What sweet "tee tee in the bottles" boys you have!!! I know they had the time of their lives on the loveliest village! love you!

Anna Benson said...

That was such a fun day. I was so glad to be able to give Grant the "Royal Auburn Treatment." The Tigerettes really did treat him like he was a recruit, and I got texts and calls for DAYS about how precious and cute and handsome he is. Mac is next!!