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Gavin: We have such a fun family!
Parker: It’s a good thing Mom didn’t come up to stop us!
Gavin: Yeah …

There is nothing else to deduce from those statements other than I am the buzz kill in my family. The tickle war was great … because I wasn’t there. Speaking of not being there. Gavin sincerely believes I did not go to his last Cross Country meet.

The breakdown in communication happened when I got it in my head that I couldn’t go to the meet and be on time for my double booked evening at the church. I said out loud several times that I couldn’t go to the meet. I was also not happy that I would be missing the first half of the BYU football game.

As Thursday got closer Heath told me that I should go to the meet. It was at a middle school near our high school. He thought that I would feel better if I drove separately so I could leave the second the meet was over and make it to the church in time to set up and practice a skit at the same time.

I tried to say I didn’t care if I was late to the church. I didn’t want to drive in the rain on my own. Maybe I didn’t speak clearly enough because I picked up Gwen from school and I drove behind Heath to the meet. And neither one of us picked up Parker from the bus stop like we said we would. Parker was a little miffed.

Anyway, Gavin didn’t know I was planning on going to the meet. I thought he knew but maybe those conversations happened while he was at school. Six of us drove to the meet in three different cars. One behind the other. It was the most ridiculous parade given the circumstances.

When the boys race started Heath told me to walk with him. We walked along the course to cheer Gavin on a couple of times before heading over to the finish line. I had my hood up so as not to muss my coiffure before having to be a cow in a skit. The girl that assigned me the part prefaced her request by saying, “This in no way reflects on you as a person, but will you …” and she mumbled the rest. I had to ask her to repeat the part. “Will you be the cow?” No way reflects on me as a person. Did she just call me fat?

My hood was up but I was permanently attached to Heath’s hip as we trudged through mud and cheered on Gavin. I was just as loud and obnoxious as ever. Especially at the end. We stood at the cones marking the finish gate while I screamed to Gavin. “Come on Gavin! Come on! Come on! Sprint it out! Come on Gavin!” I couldn’t think of any other words. He seemed to be finishing so slowly.

Apparently my off white coat with the hood up resembled an apparition. To Gavin I looked like a ghost and certainly looked nothing like his mother. Either that or my coat cloaked me in invisibility because he had absolutely no knowledge I was even there.

After the meet Heath took Gavin in his car. I had Gwen and Parker in my car and Grandma and Grandpa were in their own car. Once again we traveled together in a line through the heavy rain. Gavin was concerned that he was the only one in his dad’s car. He didn’t know that we threw caution to the wind along with any care for our carbon footprint. Carpooling? Pishaw!

Gavin: Mom didn’t come?
Heath: She was here. She has Parker and Gwen with her.
Gavin: Did Grandma and Grandpa come?
Heath: Yes they were here too. We were all cheering for you. Didn’t you hear us?

Gavin hadn’t seen any of us. And I had a good 30 minutes before I had to be at the church. So I changed into a nicer outfit and hairsprayed my hair within an inch of it’s flat life.

I played the cow as best I could. Carrying extra holiday weight from a couple years ago definitely helped. The Visiting Teaching Conference was a success. I came home and fell asleep on the couch watching the game with Grandma. I should have watched upstairs with Grandpa and Heath. I could have told Heath to just put a blanket over me and leave me there for the night. Instead I woke up after BYU lost by one point and didn’t feel tired again for some time after climbing into bed.

Gavin’s final practice is today. It’s more like a party than a real practice. Only 15 kids were picked to participate in the district race tomorrow. Gavin was number 13 of 15. I am so proud of that kid! It is strange to be a mother to such talent. Stranger still that he doesn’t recognize me with my hood up and he thinks I’m no fun. But the rest of our family is fun!

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