Excused Absence…

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I’ve been MIA since last Thursday… And, in all honesty, it’s all Justin’s fault (as are most things in his life). We actually got to have a family weekend, and I got so caught up in actually living my life that I forgot to write about it. It probably won’t sound like it was anything that fabulous, but Justin hasn’t been home for a full weekend in a month. In the past two months, I’ve only actually had him home two weekends.

Friday night we took Robbie to his first high school football game. It was the first high school football game Justin and I have been to since we moved to Massachusetts. And, let me tell you, it disappointed. High school football in Massachusetts cannot, in anyway, compare to high school football in Georgia – or even Kentucky. When we lived in Georgia, it was an event. The entire town came. Teachers went. Students went. Parents went. Alumni went. The stands were packed, especially if it was an in-town game. At Lawrence? Not so much in regards to attendance. There is a beautiful facility, and it was mostly empty. The visiting team had more fans at the game.

It wasn’t just the attendance that made it so different; it was the whole atmosphere. We’re used to football and cheerleaders and marching bands. Sure, there was football. Mediocre football that no one actually paid any attention to. And there were cheerleaders who could barely do toe-touches and took five girls to put one girl up in the air. You would have thought I was there coach (and, in the shocking revelation of the day, I actually was a cheerleading “coach” for the freshmen at Houston County). And the band? Oh, the band. How disappointing it was for Justin, who was most excited about the band. They played once, between the first and second quarters. There were no uniforms. There was no marching.

I’m still glad we went, though. Robbie actually tried to run away from me (surprise, surprise!). When I got to him, I heard someone yell, “Mrs. Manna!” When I turned around, it was one of my favorite students who pointed to the guy standing next to me and said, “That’s my dad!” I got to meet my first parent (to my teacher friends out there, I haven’t gotten any emails or phone calls complaining about my performance as a teacher – A.Mah.Zing!). It was nice to be able talk to a parent, especially when I had so many good things to say.

Last night, Justin and I had a date. Not the pathetic excuse for a date we had last time (massage – not pathetic – followed by rushed grocery shopping – pathetic). We went all out last night after Justin got home from class (so we missed him for Saturday). We went to get massages and then out to Tango for a nice dinner together. It was so strange to sit and talk over a leisurely dinner. We had a pitcher of sangria. We slowly ate our meal (what I wouldn’t give for another filet…) without moving the plate from groping fingers. There was no rush to leave because someone got antsy. There was no mess to pick up under the table. Well, other than the mess Justin left… We even had time for dessert. And, you know what? We still like each other! There are still fun things to talk about. Every now and then I worry that we will run out of things to talk about. And one day we might. But, thankfully, that wasn’t last night.

Today involved a failed attempt at church. We had to make a break for it after the homily when Robert melted down. And then it was chore time. Major chore time. I’m talking shampooing the upholstery. I’m talking raking leaves. And bagging them. Thirteen bags worth. We even swept. It looks like fall never even happened at our house! Justin and I got it knocked out in about two hours. Yard work is so much more tolerable when there’s someone doing it with you. It also helps when a certain baby takes a nearly four hour nap…

I told you it wouldn’t sound like anything super fabulous. Of course, I left out some parts. Like that I’ve taught Robbie how to give hugs and play “cuddle baby”. He’ll throw his head on my shoulder and laugh. Since Robbie isn’t really a cuddler (or affectionate beyond blowing kisses), this is a big step. I’m hoping at some point he’ll move to spontaneously giving hugs and not trying to wriggle his way out of them after five seconds.

And now I need to go. After all, family weekend isn’t over yet. There’s still dinner with the Sillettos and bath time. Oh, and laundry to put away and the house to get picked up before it gets cleaned tomorrow. And then a clean couch to lounge on while I work on finishing the Christmas stocking I started making for myself five years ago…

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