James looks forward to this annual trip with eager anticipation - and this year was no different. As soon as the radio started announcing MONSTER JAM IS COMING SOON and he started seeing Grave Digger commercials on TV - he began asking when he would get to go.
Which meant that little Mini-me (James' doting yet sometimes irritating roadie, Jack) started asking as well. He knew that this was his year to get to attend the elusive Monster Jam - and was beyond excited to go.
Unfortunately - the way the calendar fell with the ballet one weekend, our annual parish retreat to the mountains of North Carolina two weeks later, and Monster Jam sandwiched in between - there was no way Deonne could make it home.
Frankly, the thought of taking the boys to Monster Jam made my skin crawl. It's not the actual trucks that seem to give me hives - rather the thought of screaming crowds, two little over-excited boys, and the noise of all of those revving engines reverberating throughout the indoor coliseum. I had foreshadowing thoughts of them not being able to hear me through their ear plugs - then wandering off or falling down the steps or incurring some other inevitable catastrophe. I broke out in a cold sweat just thinking about it.
In other words, me taking them to the big event was just not a possibility. Besides, it's a 'boy' thing. And the boys needed other boys to go with - so they could grunt and scratch and do all those testosterone things I'll never understand.
So after discussing this with Deonne - he came up with the idea to ask someone to usher the boys through this manly time in his place. Last year he and James attending Monster Jam with a good friend from church and his son - so he thought he'd ask him if he was willing to take on the Long Boys for a night. He also thought his brother might like to take the boys with his two sons - for a full-on Long Family Man Night.
Both were great options, and our sons would surely love to go with either group. So Deonne asked. They both said yes. But apparently there was confusion, and I'm still not entirely sure how it came to be that both families planned to take our children, other than the fact that I left it up to Deonne to do the planning. (And people wonder why I typically take the lead and make the plans for our family.)
Which was not a big deal at all - in the end - other than that weird moment in time when Deonne asked 'well who do you want to take the boys and I'll tell the others not to take them.' Hello?!? - how do you ask someone to take your children somewhere - have them purchase tickets - then tell them 'nope, not going with you - someone 'better' came along?'
I wasn't going to do that - and it was silly to because each group planned to go on different nights - so what happened instead? Our boys were INCREDIBLY blessed to get to see Monster Jam not once, but TWICE!! Two trips to see Grave Digger (that's the only one I know by name), some dog truck that had ears and a tail and a tongue that went in and out of his mouth (according to Jack), motorcycles in a cage(?), and some 'little' monster trucks that I finally figured out were remote controlled trucks.
Night One | Fleischers
|Monster Jam - Night 1 (I'm not sure what this look is on James' face...)|
|Eagerly awaiting the trucks to start rolling!|
|I think this was the favorite 'dog' truck of the evening.|
Night Two | Longs
|Hanging with Burke - they look like brothers, not cousins, no?|
|Love love love this little face!|
Could be worse - at least he has aspirations...
But in all seriousness - a heartfelt thank you to both Scott and Darron for taking our sons to the show. It meant the world to them, to me, and to Deonne. The past six months have been really hard on our kids - and the love, care, and compassion you share with them means more than you can really know.