The weather was crazy last night. I woke up way too early when one of my pots outside fell over in the wind and broke. I though somebody was trying to break in since it sounded like broken glass. I figured out two things after the pot broke: 1. I shouldn’t put any potted plants there anymore (this is our third lost pot – sometimes I don’t learn lessons) and 2. the wind cleared my yard of leaves, hence saving me thirty dollars.

My day was looking up!

Hey, insight is a good thing.

And then the rain started and the thunder and lightning and our planned campout was postponed. The boys took it relatively well. They have so much fun together I swear they wouldn’t care if we stayed home and became recluses and never saw the light of day. Jason’s sister, on the other hand, was bummed about the camping trip being no more. She called me up while the boys were finally getting dressed to see what we were doing. Knowing we were heading to UT I asked her if she might want to join us. To which she replied, “When can you pick me up?”

We left for the games with plans to get Destini afterwards. I was really excited about today’s game. Little Brooks has been working so hard. We were tickled pink to get a call from Brooks at the end of the first quarter. I couldn’t believe our luck at such great reception inside a cavernous building like High Chapparel. We figured we’d try video calling through Skype-pee, just to see if it would work. I wasn’t holding my breath. I figured the call would drop and he’d call me back and I’d step outside and try to watch the game while talking with Brooks on the phone. And yet, when we tried it, it worked! We were so thrilled. Brooks was able to talk to his Dad and wave and smile, all the while beaming from ear to ear. And joy of joys, Big Brooks was able to watch the rest of the game! How crazy is technology! I can’t imagine what future separations may bring in terms of keeping in touch. I’m so grateful that regardless of the distance something as simple as a phone app can help us stay connected.

It reminded me of Little B’s fourth or fifth birthday. Brooks was gone, again. And we had him on the laptop on video messenger through Yahoo. We rushed to get the candles lit so his Daddy could watch us sing to him before the connection gave out on us. Or even earlier to his second deployment when Brooks was in the Green Zone. He was able to get on the internet all the time. It was super nice. And when he was in his room we could chat and see him, though he couldn’t see us, or the connection would drop. Little B got so used to seeing his Daddy on the laptop. He was an itty bitty thing. For all he knew his Daddy was the laptop. One day while visiting family someone accidentally hit the laptop, with a ball or something, I can’t quite recall. And The Boy rushed over there and leaned over so he could see the screen so he could check to make sure his Daddy was okay. It nearly broke my heart. I remember thinking to myself, this kid is going to need some serious therapy!

We were in super high spirits as we picked up Destini and headed to Austin for UT’s open house, an event they call Explore UT. It is by far one of the neatest things I’ve ever done with The Boy. We try to never miss it. It’s too much fun and too much of a Central Texas gem to forgo it. And we always have so much fun. It’s impossible to see it all and do it all.

 

Whoever came up with the concept of opening up the whole college to kids of all ages is an absolute genius. Every single department sets up stations where the kids can explore, learn, engage in activities, question, discuss, and/or create. The students and faculty who run these booths are amazingly patient, exceedingly kind, and bright. They explain things to each child, and bring each concept within easy reach and understanding of those they are speaking with. Like I said, I LOVE it. Anyone who lives anywhere near Austin should try to go. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Unless you hate crowds. And then you’re on your own!

So, needless to say, we had a blast! The kids laughed and giggled, oohhed and ahhed, created and explored and begged for more! They were so grateful to go that I swear they each thanked me for bringing them at least five times each, at which point the others would quickly chime in.

 

My feet are killing me but I’m so glad we went and that the kiddos had fun. And I’m grateful as well, for parents who entrust their children to me. I love having kids around. Obviously having a single child wasn’t in our playbook, but we don’t hold the paper and ink for that story. So being able to take Brooks and two of his friends to partake in all the goodness of UT was a gift for me. The whole way home we sang loud and off-key, recounted favorite moments, and all agreed that next year we’d have to do our best to go again 🙂

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