lucky and they know it

The season of football is upon us. There was a time a few years ago when we devoted entire weekends to college football. I would spend my Fridays off packing up baby Caroline (who lately is more often called Lady Lou, Toots, or "I said two seconds more five minutes ago") for an early afternoon getaway toward Boston up the Merritt with our fingers crossed to get through Hartford and onto 84 before an accident or the afternoon crunch, whichever came first. We would arrive to Kiki and Papa's house in time for a much needed glass of wine after we put the baby to bed. The morning would be an all out press of tailgate prep, diaper bag packing and the execution of the proper balance of layers and baby amusements. Sunday would be a hummie sandwich by Papa (amazing) and a plan for exit around baby sleepiness and if the Pats were playing while we were driving home (and they nearly always were) it meant Pats coverage on satellite all the way back home. If I didn't have Mondays off back then, it would have been completely unmanageable.

By the time Connor arrived on scene, we were back in Massachusetts. I cannot even fathom how we would have gotten "he who refused to ride in the car" back and forth for football, but I'm entirely sure that we would have found a way.

I'm sure many of our friends and family think we are insane for bringing the kids to six full seasons of football save a very small handful due to weather, illness or a kickoff after bedtime. Most days I think we are insane, but then I see the kids (who with the exception of the last five minutes of each half without fail), sit tight, pay attention, cheer appropriately and have one heck of a time. Caroline kicks her feet as hard as a grown man against the metal at her feet. Connor asks questions constantly and the game is no exception, but it is often me fielding these questions and I am not always sure that I have the right answers. They love the tailgate with family and friends, the balloon artist and face painting, Baldwin, the band, and they are always the last kids standing at the games. They can hang. Sure, they often need smuggled snacks, matchbox cars, and sometimes our phone, but for a first grader and a preschooler, they do as well or better than some of the adults we see.

Highlights from this weekend.

Caroline turning each time this LOUD FSU fan behind us cheered because she knew she was cheering for the other team. "I don't like it when she does that."

Connor and Lyle playing tackle football keep away at the tailgate.

Caroline CRYING at the end of the end of the game and covering her eyes "I can't watch, tell me what happens," she was THAT invested.

Connor losing his MIND when I came back pretzel-less post halftime because they were sold out. I'm not sure BC was ready for that many fans?!

Caroline's answer to "what was the best part of today?" It was "being together with our family."

I will deal with the day after soreness from carrying tiny people on my shoulders, bigger tiny people on my back, if the best part of her day can always be that. That is why we do this. They are lucky kids and they know it.


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