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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Promises to keep

The entire Scribbler-Blue family, excepting me, has just headed out on an Excellent Adventure to see the Patriots-Jets playoff game. To say that they were excited would be perhaps a wee bit of an understatement. LG took a record 35 minutes to get dressed this morning because he could not stop jumping up and down long enough to pull a shirt over his head. "Focus!" I yelled at him every ninety or so seconds. "You must GET DRESSED. Little boys who are not dressed do NOT get to go to Patriots games." In response, LG would look for a moment at his pants and shirt, blink twice, as if he had never seen such objects before, and return to jumping up and down again.

It is the first NFL game that any of them have ever attended, which is saying quite a lot, considering that Mr. Blue has already spent both children's college monies on Red Sox tickets. Last night, LG piped up from the back of the car to say, "I'm so excited! The big day that I've always waited for is almost here!"

He has a whole series of questions that he hopes to have answered by this experience. He is particularly keen to know how the Jets will be able to play if the whole stadium is shouting, "Go Patriots!" (He also fears that enough Jets fans will be in attendance so that New England will have to try to play while people are shouting, "Go Jets!") He wonders if people will know that he is rooting for the Patriots if he is not wearing anything that says "Patriots" on it (I assured him that, in this case, a Red Sox hat would be a perfectly comprehensible sign of his Patriots allegiance.) Most of all, he wonders if either the Jets or the Patriots have a fight song.

At first, though, his excitement was terribly diminished by the discovery that his best friend would not be able to accompany him on this adventure. Well, really, what are adventures for if they are not to be shared with friends? Of course he was terribly, terribly disappointed. But he was rational in the midst of his disappointment. It was true, LG acknowledged, that, unlike his very responsible big-boy self, his best friend could not be trusted to know what to do if he got lost at the football stadium. Responsible big boys know to hold tight to Daddy's hand at all times; and, further, they know that if they get lost they should find a security guard or a police officer right away. LG agreed that his best friend would probably not be able to do this, and therefore should probably stay home, though it grieves both him and his friend to have it be so.

But my boy, my very sweet boy, was able to find himself a silver lining in the situation. Just before he left, he stopped jumping long enough to ask of me a solemn vow. "Mama," he said, "Puppy can't go to the game, but if you make sure that he watches it on TV, I know he will not be so sad about it. Promise that Puppy can watch the game with you, so that he can see me there and know what it's like."

I promised. To tell the truth, watching the football game had not actually made my list of top ten things to do with seven hours to myself on this sunny day. But Puppy is sitting here on the coffee table, facing the television expectantly, and the kickoff will be soon. I don't expect that I will be able to pick LG out of the roaring crowd, some seventy thousand strong. But I bet Puppy will. After all, he is a Puppy of his word. And he has promises to keep.

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