Several years ago, my very wise brother-in-law had the foresight to encourage his son to play football at their small Texas high school. Now my nephew was going into his junior year and had never really played much football... but, like I said, his dad is a very wise man... and my nephew was actually aware of this at a young enough age to take his advice. You see... there was a Special One on that team and my BIL was sure that his oldest son, M, would want to be able to someday claim the fame of having played high school ball with this fine athlete.
Well, M didn't really have the size of a football player but he is one of the most likeable, generous, fun-loving people I know and found his place on the team as the long-snapper. (My knowledge of the intricacies of football is limited but it's my understanding that this player snaps the ball further than the regular center. He comes out for things like kicks. I guess.)
Anyway, M stayed on the team for his senior year after the Special One went off to college and recruited his younger brother, J, to join the team too. Tall and thin, it turned out that J had a pretty good leg and ended up being their starting Punter for the next couple of years. He was so good in fact that he set some sort of state record. (Don't ask me what.)
Being a bit of the family rebel (in the most polite sort of way), J resisted the urging of his family to follow his 3 older siblings to Texas A&M and instead, to the horror and shame of the entire family, set his sites on the University of Texas. Once accepted, he began to gift his family with burnt orange Longhorn t-shirts, but they just couldn't remove their Aggie maroon and hid the shirts away.
However, all thoughts of betrayal melted away and the Longhorn orange came out a-blazing when they found out that J had been accepted as a walk-on player for the National Champion Texas Longhorns. Football truly can move mountains and heal all wounds.
And that brings me to Thursday. This Thursday... when the Texas Longhorns play in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. We knew that we would have 2 tickets... and being the generous, loving mother that I am, I suggested that DH take our oldest boy. Then, it looked like we might have 3 tickets! Now clearly, I insisted, as much fun as it sounded, Boy #2 would just appreciate it so much more. Yes, I know... I just keep on giving.
But now... Now we have just found out that our nephew has secured tickets for us all to attend! All of us. Including me! Our whole family making a 6 hour round-trip drive to San Diego for a college bowl game! I'm... well... just... overwhelmed. Really. Overwhelmed.
I can honestly say that I am excited and grateful for this opportunity, but sadly my emotions tend to tilt towards panic-stricken when faced with such excitement. Yes, panic, anxiety, nausea... that sort of thing. This is where my finely tuned skill of denial comes in. See, I will put this as far out of my mind as possible for the next couple of days until I'm awakened Thursday morning and told to get in the car. Breathing might be hard for the first part of the trip, but I know I'll have a good time once my breathing returns to normal, my stomach settles, and I've stopped yelling at the way-too-noisy kids.
Oh, and the Special One... the One from their small Texas high school... he has done quite well for himself. After a few years at Oklahoma where he was nominated for a Heisman Trophy his Freshman year, he is now breaking records for the Minnesota Vikings. If you watch football, or have family who does, you've probably heard of him. His name is Adrian Peterson. Like I said, my BIL is a very wise man.