Spoiled.

E came into town Monday afternoon, left last night, and we had three REALLY good days while he was here. He doesn’t usually come into town for more than one day at a time, so he always has to cram in time with his friends while he’s here and it never feels long enough and I’m always depressed when he leaves. I’m depressed he left this time too, but for entirely different reasons. We just had SO MUCH FUN! We went roller skating Tuesday night and Wednesday night we celebrated Wes’s birthday by going to an arcade/restaurant and to the playground with Wes’s friends. There were also trips to Barnes and Noble, lunches out, beers had (He’s 21 now! That’s fun!), and episodes of Gilmore Girls watched. All in all? It was a great trip and I’m sad to wake up this morning and not have to try to be quiet in the kitchen so I don’t wake him up.

He’s officially a senior in college. If all goes well, he will graduate in May. His goal is to get out of Alabama as fast as the wind will carry him, but he’ll also go where the jobs are so…who knows. Either way, I have to start bracing myself for the fact that these spontaneous trips to see each other may be coming to an end this year. And so I need to do everything I can to make them happen as frequently as possible. I have a big race in September, but I really want to not take on anything more than usual for the next several months after that. Still do my favorite races throughout the winter, but nothing MORE. I’ll have a back-to-back weekend in November if all goes well, but other than that I’ll just keep up to the 50K training level until January, and then just keep my head above water to survive the Spring races. Nothing major that would keep me from popping into town to see him on the weekends if he has time to breathe.

It’s hard, thinking about him being more than 2.5 hours away next year. My perspective gets spoiled because I’ve always been within a weekend drive from my family and we live in the same town as all of Donnie’s family. I forget that not everyone is so lucky.

But I’ll worry about that when the time comes. Until then I’ll be sure to remember that he’ll stay a little longer if you promise to buy him new socks.

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College kids are quite easy to bribe, it turns out.

Bragging About My Kid Part 8,972.

The first time we toured the University of Montevallo I knew E would go to school there. I describe it as being full of lovely artsy weirdos and it seemed like they would welcome him with open arms. And they did. He has done things at that school I didn’t even know he cared about, like joined a Fraternity, and then became President of that Fraternity. He became super-involved with College Night which is a campus competition (the longest Homecoming type tradition in the state) and this year ran for the Purple Side Leader which would mean – during his Senior year next year – he’d lead his half of the college towards a Purple Victory. (PV!)

College Night and Purple v/s Gold yields all of this weird/hilarious traditions. Like which side of the stairs on one building you can use, and what you do when you see the Montevallo sign coming into town, and you hold the PEACE sign, NOT the Thumbs Up sign because THAT is what the GOLDS do, jeez Mom. You love all things Purple and Cow (the color and the mascot) and you call Freshmen Baby Purples and you take care of them like they were your own children which creates these lineages and you have Purple Weddings where you “marry” someone on the Purple side so you can care for your Baby Purple together and it’s INSANE and WONDERFUL and I’ve loved watching him get into every aspect of it.

So, yeah. Of course he had to run for Purple Leader. His blood has run Purple since his freshman year. We funded his campaign with a huge $200 donation for buttons and stickers. I answered some Photoshop Questions as he designed his graphics and I fawned all over him on Facebook when he launched his campaign page. Look at his photos! (Remember: Purple and Cows, it’s their thing. The story of him and the cows are HILARIOUS. The poor farmer who owned them was so perplexed by the photo session.)

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The photos were taken by his friend Cocoa who has also done our family photos, she’s great. She goes to Montevallo too and has an amazing travel photo page and her Senior project is all about Montevallo and it’s AMAZING. I’m so glad she took his campaign photos because she just captured him (AND THE COW!) beautifully.

ANYWAY…

HE WON! He will be the Male Purple Leader of College Night next year and I’m so excited because he wanted this SO BAD. He might have called me a tiny bit tipsy afterwards and it was hilarious because I could just feel his joy but also his terror (WAIT. WHAT HAVE I DONE? I AM NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN!) but also his excitement and I was SO worried he wouldn’t win and I’m SO glad he did because now I don’t have to sell our house As Is Cash Only to fund his emergency therapy needs.

I’m happy he found a home in college. A family. I’m happy he found things to pour his heart into. I’m happy he found people to embrace him. His Facebook wall is FULL of messages of love and congratulations and it’s just so nice to see the world loves him like I do. He’s amazing and that’s pretty damn impressive since most days I’m barely able to make it out of the house without losing my shit.

My Dad would be in such awe of him. He’d say the same thing about E that we used to joke about my brother. “How did HE end up so normal and good with people while the two of us are over here holding down the fort as the Mayors of Awkward Town?”

Proud of this kid. He’s in for a wild ride.

My Newest Obsession

Working with E during his Musical career in high school really turned me on to the power of the artform. I have several cast recordings I adore: Spring Awakening, Wicked, Book of Mormon and Legally Blonde. The thing about cast recordings though, is you kinda need to know the story, or have seen the musical, to really enjoy them – which is why I think I was late to the Hamilton game: I’m shit for American History.

I listened to the cast recording once or twice, mostly all the way through. I thought it was good, great hip-hop but it just didn’t suck me in. But, it’s just been getting more and MORE attention lately so I gave it another try about 2 weeks ago but did so while keeping this page accessible so I could read what was happening in the story coinciding with each song and this did two things:

1) Provided me the story that supplied the emotion behind the music which had me actually sobbing this time through in some parts
2) Made me completely obsessed with the story of Alexander Hamilton.

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Most of the music is just excellent examples of great hip-hop – wonderful beats you really want to dance to or sing along with. I’ve started learning it by heart now and I’m the whitest middle-aged woman in the all the land so you KNOW that is the most hilarious image in the planet. BUT I DO NOT CARE.

But some of the songs, like after (Is this a spoiler when it’s a 200+ year old story everyone probably knew but me?) his wife learns of his affair, or after his son dies, or when his wife sings her final number…those songs just simply tear at my heart and I somehow actually feel as though I’m watching it on stage, even though I’m driving in my car on the way to buy bread for lunches. SOBBING, I tell you, SOBBING.

I’m telling you all of this to encourage you to do what I did. Buy the cast recording (It’s like 40 tracks, it’s worth the money) and listen to it along with the wiki if you don’t know Hamilton’s life story. (I actually asked myself at one point, “Did he ever become president?” because I am TERRIBLE at American History. Spoiler Alert: HE DID NOT.) Listen to it once while learning the story, then listen to it again and again because you’ll pick up more each time and you’ll just be in awe of the lyrics and the call-backs and the general awesomeness of the musical.

And do all of this before next week because the cast will be performing at the Grammy’s one week from tonight and I am SO EXCITED. It’s very frustrating to fall in love with a cast recording and not have the means to see the show. I’ve seen photos from the show and I try to piece together what I think certain numbers look like, but it’s still hard to really grasp the whole picture in just audio and written form. I need a visual so bad it HURTS so I can not WAIT until Monday and I want you to become obsessed so you can be right there with me.

20.

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Dear E,

I know you hate that B&W picture from that collage. But I love it. And I’m the one making what you call a “white-girl collage,” so I get to pick my favorite photos.

You are now older than I was on the day I gave birth to you. I have officially been a Mom longer than I’ve not been a Mom. I am no longer the Mother of a teenager. I’m the mother of a 20-year old. An adult who sends out important emails to groups he leads and has a job and goes to school and cleans toilets (hopefully) and worries about the utility bill and house-breaking his new puppy.

I’m so proud of you that my heart feels like it’s going to explode, and yet I’m also just sad that you really don’t need me anymore.

I know I give you a lot of guilt for not calling me enough, but know that I come from a long line of Catholics and guilt trips are how we show love.

You’re an amazing brother, still willing to drag your brother and your sister around your adult world, because they don’t want to leave your side even for a second when we visit. Seeing how you interact with them always reminds me how excited you were to become a big brother. I know they drive you crazy sometimes, but they will always be your biggest fans.

I guess some day I’ll have to quit writing cheesy blog entries on your birthday…there are 10 others before this one lingering in my archives…providing a digital footprint of my lameness over the course of your life so far. They all basically say the same thing: STOP GROWING UP ALREADY.

10th
11th
12th
13th (This one I freak out about you being a teenager. Now I’m sad you are no longer one.)
14th
15th
16th (This one may be my favorite.)
17th
18th
19th

Anyway…you are awesome. I hope I tell you that enough. I hope I don’t tell you so much that you tune it out. If I had a dollar for every time someone gave me a compliment about you I’d have like…several hundred dollars to spend on donuts.

Whether it’s kind words about you working at Fresh Market, compliments about your gorgeous hair, or enjoyment over your humor on Twitter or Instagram. (See what I did there? Being a good blog Mom and trying to get your more followers on your social media accounts.) People are always telling me how awesome you are…like I need the reminder.

I love you with all of my heart and I miss you terribly every day. I hope you have a great day and that you’ll maybe call me to tell me something funny that happened. You would probably stop calling me if you saw how excited I got whenever I see it’s you on the other side of the ring. I dork out and try to play it cool, “Hey. What’s up.” But really I’m all, “ELIAH IS CALLING. NO ONE BOTHER ME UNTIL I AM OFF THE PHONE OR EVERYONE GETS GROUNDED.”

Happiest of Birthdays to you, my 20-year old son. Thanks for making me feel proud (and old) every single day.

Mom.

This is why you don’t tweet before bed…

Twitter is a weird bit of social media to me. I don’t use it as often as Instagram or Facebook, but I check it just as often. I use it more for the newsfeed function than for the “contributing to the ether” function. So, I rarely get messages or follows or RTs, and sometimes I forget I’ve even tweeted something.

Well, last night before bed, the official TFiOS movie twitter account asked if there were any TFiOSMoms out on Twitter. And I’m like, That’s me! and I responded immediately with a picture of my tattoo. I then went to bed and thought nothing more of the incident.

And then I woke up this morning and my twitter app was ALL SORTS OF CRAZY. New follows! New Favorites! New RTs! I had NO idea what was going on because I didn’t remember tweeting anything.

Well, I guess the TFiOS Movie account RT’d my response and that’s all they wrote. I’ve got replies telling me I’m an awesome Mom, that people love my tattoo, that they love ME…it’s CRAZY. And hilarious. Because I’m just a running Mommy Blogger in Alabama and now I have this one tweet that has been RT’d a bunch of times and THAT will be my internet claim to fame. I thought it might be that “Quit Hating On People Who Shop At Thanksgiving” entry that went viral enough I had to turn off comments. Nope, not anymore, now my internet legacy is going to be my TFiOS tattoo. Which is fine since not a day goes by that I don’t get at least one notice of someone repinning E’s TFiOS tattoo on Pinterest, so now it’s just going to be our family legacy. We’ll be buried together in 100 years in a mausoleum that will say, “Here Lies Zoot and E – Two People With Cool TFiOS Tattoos.”

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