Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 27, 2012: Football, football and more football...

Having three boys guarantees one thing on fall weekends...lots of football. This weekend was clearly one of those; mirroring many weekends from years past. Although I have officially graduated one son from flag football and a college son from participation sports, we still live back-to-back football from Friday through Monday on any given October weekend. New to the mix are young adult sons who are also eager participants in fantasy football with nonstop NFL coverage.

This past weekend has proven to be a solid example of this. On Friday night Ben's high school team, less an injured Ben, won their first round of playoffs. Saturday morning resulted in a game loss, but Grant's junior high team taking 2nd place in their league play. Immediately following this game and on to game #3; Ben, Grant and I bundled up and headed to Lincoln to meet my college son and 85,000 of our closest Husker friends and fellow fans for the Nebraska/Michigan standoff.

The experience of Memorial Stadium is one that always feels new to me each time I walk into the stadium. I carry the heart of a football mom and am in new found awe each time I experience it; regardless of the number of times I have actually walked through the entry gates.

I choke up and brush away tears while singing the National Anthem every time the opening song is played. I get goosebumps as the crowd collectively roars with the airplane flyover and as the team enters the field. Without exception, my heart goes out to the mother of the kicker who misses a field goal; regardless of his team uniform. And nothing warms this mother's heart more than to watch the three boys sitting to my right as they share their beloved Huskers memories together.

And the Lane boys do love their football. I have recently learned that the best conversations with my sixteen year-old occur over Monday night football. I happened upon this by accident. On the night of a big Denver Broncos game, I sat down next to my teenager while wearing my Peyton Manning jersey.

"Mom, can you even name another player on the Broncos?" questioned Ben; a cynic on what he believed to be my bandwagon ways.

"Elvis Dumervil," I quickly answered.

"Too easy. School? Position?" he challenged.

"Ummmmm" was the best answer I could give.  But I wasn't going to apologize for my alliances or my coveted jersey.

"Okay, Mom. Watch the game with me and I'll teach you what you need to know."

So in between his texting and checking other scores for his fantasy team and my messing on my laptop, we enjoyed a little Mom and Ben time talking about the week past, his football season, and a bit about life.  And I did pick up a thing or two about football along the way.

The Broncos play at 7:00 tonight. There will be no Manning jersey or live TV for us as we will be enjoying a Broadway show downtown.  But Ben has already set up live feeds on my IPhone for score updates and has advised me that he will "break it down" for me when we get home. Thanks, Ben. I look forward to it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

September 28, 2012 (an entry from my mom)

Mom would ride all over town with the three of us in tow, curlers and all (1970)

Every week I receive a card in the mail from my mom. Yep, a good old fashioned handwritten note. She typically inquires on the goings on in my life, then updates me on the local weather in Arizona, and the feel of their daily life. She always uses colorful cards and explains the history of the card of choice.

I love to get her cards. I love to hear about her ordinary days. And I love to read Mom's neat cursive handwriting. I picture her writing the card at her desk as I read the delivered treasure in my own hands.

I asked Mom for permission to publish a recent note she wrote to me. It made me smile and I have since kept the card on my bed stand. It serves as a daily reminder of the gift of a caring mom and how the small things in life really bring us the greatest joy. And, yes, memories are a wonderful thing...

Sept. 28, 2012

Dear Sandy,

(Paragraph asking about my personal life, updating me on her family history research, details on the weather that day in their hometown)

Well my beloved Andy Williams is gone. Back in the day you, me & the boys watched Andy's TV show from the big black rocking chair. No one wiggled or argued - we peacefully rocked back & forth, back & forth - going along with the music tempo. They were such great memories. The chair was big - Mark on my right, Matt on the left & you in my lap...back & forth, back & forth. :) Those were the good old days! No money, but didn't matter.  Never once did I feel deprived. I thought we had/were better off than most & even felt a little guilty.


Baths were together. The curtains were Mom's handiwork (1971).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

September 13, 2012: Birthday Celebration

Birthdays are certainly not ordinary. But after 45 of them, they do seem to blur into each other a bit. I am a month (to the day!) late in posting the Chronicles of my 45th b-day, but better late than never...

The picture above was taken on my 11th birthday. On back of the picture in my childish cursive handwriting is scripted "Sandy Wagner at 11th birthday. Sept. 13, 1978". Of note are my school uniform, boy haircut (tomboy stage?), and favorite butterfly necklace. What I really want to point out is the exquisite decorating flair of my mother.  Note the ornate China lady to my left. My mom made that eloquent conversation piece; big-haired China lady stood proudly on our huge wooden family stereo unit. The bird cage to my right was spray painted gold, filled with fake greens and a fake perched bird. My brothers loved to place that bird in interesting positions.

My birthdays of past included a homemade cake, birthday family dinner of my choice, and my having a few girlfriends over night. If there was a party, it involved a homemade pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey or a free game of tag. There were no nonsensical themes, decorations or over-the-top party destination expenses. And I still loved my birthday. I loved being one of the first birthdays of the school year. I loved the fall-ish weather. And I loved the special attention.

Getting older certainly hasn't disappointed.  My 45th b-day was nothing short of awesome.  When I was young and thought of getting "old", I just thought birthday celebrations would go away.  I was wrong.  But they sure have changed. At age 11, I wouldn't have had a clue on Facebook or receiving 200 well wishes from FB friends.  A text or cell phone would have been foreign to me. So the constant calls, texts, and voice mails...inconceivable to a child of the seventies. A boyfriend flying in from Denver to celebrate with that would have perked my 11 year old interest, but confused me, no less, as this future life wasn't part of my married-with-children vision.

So my September 13th birthday of 2012 started with my wondering if I would even get a card from my boys. Although one should never "expect" a gift or well wishes, part of me pouted inside on the thought of all my years of painstakingly planning their birthday parties and "no boy left behind" birthday sleep overs with not a hint of corresponding recognition back to their old mom. I did get "Happy Birthday, Mom" greetings from Grant and what sounded like an affirmation grunt from Ben on their way out the door to school.  Satisfied and deciding this was as good as a card, I got dressed up for my special day and headed to work.

I was greeted with not one, but two bouquets of flowers delivered to my office (thanks to Mom & Dad and Garrett) and cookies from my parents to share with my co-workers. After many birthday greetings and smiles in the office (everything short of the spanking machine), I was off to the airport to pick up my honey from Denver. I can't lie that I felt like a kid again. To have Garrett fly in to play hooky from work with me was like a high school guilty indulgence. Time is not something Garrett has as a spare commodity, so this mid-work-week rendezvous was a special gift.

Our fun day (which I got to choose EVERYTHING) consisted of lunch lavosh with "Love Potion Number 9" cocktails at M's Pub in the Old Market. And then on to the movie "Sleepwalk with Me" at the vintage Field Streams movie theater in downtown Omaha. As we left the movie, I noticed that another movie I wanted to see would have it's last showing that same afternoon. So after a beer at nearby Goodnights and a nice birthday phone call from my college son, we went back to catch movie number two, Queen of Versailles. Our final stop was at Roja for some Mexican fare and great conversation on the my very peculiar movie choices. Full of a day of fun, it was finally time to call it a night and bid farewell to my birth-day.

I would have to tell you that although there were many kind words from my three sons, deep down I wondered if they really appreciated all of those years of my fussing over their special days. Keeping with my cup is half full philosophy, I kept reminding myself that the words and love from my kids were what mattered. My radar went up with some anticipation as Ben continued to call me while at Roja asking when I would be home. I found this odd since he was with his dad that night and he sounded a bit panicked.

As we walked in the door, I saw what the fuss was about and I melted. Ben had bought me a cake and carefully displayed it on my kitchen table ready for my enjoyment. He had ripped of the back of a notebook and scribbled a birthday message to me with a Sharpie. His worry stemmed from his afterthought of my precocious cat, Abby, wandering around my house. Ben had visions of the cat getting into the cake and creating a frosting disaster to greet his birthday mom's entrance home. Fortunately Abby gave me a gift that night too...she stayed away from the tempting colorful cake. I found out later that there were Twitter postings from my older two proclaiming my birthday as well. They really hadn't forgotten their old mom.  Forty-five was a great birthday...yes, indeed :)