Home. I still call my the home of my youth “home”. Am I the only one that does that? Either way. . . that’s where we went this weekend. Once again we awoke our little ones early Saturday morning and loaded their PJ’d bodies into the car to take the two hour drive to my hometown. The sky took my breath away as we began our trip. . .
This wasn’t just any visit home, though, this was an important trip. It was a trip to watch The Football
Game. . . the battle of the Ohio teams. . . Cleveland vs. Cincinnati.
Now, this might seem like no big deal to most people, but for me it creates a dilemma. I grew up in a home of Bengal fans. Did you grow up in a home with certain things that just are? Things that don’t need to be talked about because they are inherently known. . . part of the fabric of the home. Some of those in our home included certain family traditions, taking our shoes off before going inside, saying please and thank you, not talking back, and, well, rooting for the Bengals. It just is. No questions asked. Sunday afternoons in the fall were for rooting for the Bengals. . .
I still remember my Dad’s “Bengals pants”. Yeah, that picture of a tiger print pant in your head. . .those are the pants. My Dad wore those on Sunday afternoons. He also chanted Who-Dey! often. As a family we held secret prayer sessions asking God to help the Bengals win because my Dad’s mood seemed directly related to how well or not well the Bengals did on a particular Sunday. (Okay, maybe that’s stretching it a bit. . . about the prayer sessions, that is). We all still laugh about the day my Dad threw a piece of bologna at the wall when the Bengals made a bad play. The bologna stuck to the wall and added to the decor. My usual mild mannered Dad became quite the source of entertainment on Sunday afternoons.
Then, in one of my first acts of rebellion I met and fell in love with a Browns fan.
When I met Chad I knew that my parents had to get to know him before we let the news out. It worked! By the time they learned of his loyalty to his Cleveland team. . . we all loved him and knew there was no turning back. Now, we use the Bengals/Browns game as a reason to get together. It can be tense though, because obviously someone will leave disappointed. I do my best to keep my mouth shut and stay neutral. Between you and me? I secretly root for the Bengals. . . old habits die hard.
On our way “home” we made a stop to for haircuts via my incredibly talented sister-in-law. She is truly a treasure and is as beautiful on the inside as she is outside.
We arrived home and spent the afternoon and evening with my Dad. One of the best things about going home is that it is a peaceful atmosphere. We do a whole lot of nothing and we just “be” together. It is marvelously refreshing.
I would be lying if I said that this visit did not spark, in me, bitter-sweet feelings. My mom’s absence is so pronounced and this weekend the reality set in a little more. We are going through a lot of “firsts” and this was one of many. The lump in my throat remains as I continue to expect her to walk into the room at any time. . . like if I wait a little longer, she will come. Such thoughts seem crazy, but they are so real to me. It is in these times that I focus even more on that which I do have. . .
|Poppy saying Good Night to Chanelle|
|Poppy saying Good Night to Charlie|