February 4, 2015

The Parade

We've been in a state of mourning for the past few days.  We were three freaking handoffs from winning the Super Bowl!  Three.  And with plenty of time left too.  We are still die hard fans though so nothing can shake our love for our Seahawks.

Instead of dwelling on things I can't change though, I'll reminice today on fonder times.  It goes back to last year about this time.  Seattle was actually celebrating because we blew those Broncos out of the water and held the title of World Champions.  A little sidenote:  The Seahawks very first Super Bowl appearance was when Luke was one month old.  In the nine years since he's been born, they've made three appearances at the big game.  Considering the fact that before Luke was born, they never made it, they should be thanking him for all their success.  Maybe they'll make him a mascot, or a coach.  According to Luke, his nine year old self would make a better coach than Darrell Bevell.  That may be true.

Last February, the city of Seattle planned this huge homecoming celebration for all the players and team personel.  There was going to be a huge parade in downtown so Tim and I decided to be spontaneous.  That morning, we woke the boys up early and told them to get all their blue and green gear on.  We were going to skip school and work that day to see the parade.  Since downtown parking is a headache on normal days, we thought it would be smart to take the bus.  We drove up to the park 'n ride and hopped on a double decker.  What normally consisted of business commuters turned into other fans and families like us.  Seems that a lot of other people had the same idea of playing hooky.

In all our well thought out planning of the day, we figured we would run downtown, see the parade and then jet back home so Tim and the boys could finish the afternoon half of their work and school day.  Little did we know but everybody else had that idea too.  A later estimate was that over one million people drove into Seattle that morning from the surrounding area.  When it was done, all the busses home were packed to capacity and we got stuck until my sister came to rescue us and drive us home.  Even that took forever because fan traffic on all major roads and side roads alike was a nightmare.  We ended up getting home after dark and after bedtime.

I'm jumping ahead a bit, sorry.  Back to the bus ride into town.  Business men and women had traded in their briefcases and laptops for twelve jerseys, flags and anything else blue and neon green.  We knew the parade route so we got off as close to it as possible.  We walked a few blocks uphill and found a great spot on a corner, midway through the planned route.  By eight o'clock a.m. we were set up and putting dibs on our prime spot.

Because this was a spontaneous planning of the day, I didn't even think to check the weather report.  It was February, so I knew it would be cold.  Seattle cold though, normally only requires a winter jacket, cotton gloves and maybe a hat to keep your ears warm.  I started to get little sneaking pangs of worry when I saw other kids in full-on snow gear, boots, insulated pants and gortex gloves.  Oh shoot.  I looked down at my own boys, who were wearing normal jeans and tennis shoes.  We might be in trouble.

After standing on that cold cement curb for about an hour, we were all fidgeting.  It turns out that cool, crisp, clear sunny day's high temperature was 11 degrees.  My only defense for being an ill prepared mom was that Seattle is NEVER that cold.  I should have brought blankets and other insulated gear, but we were going to have to improvise.

Tim and the boys stayed in our perfect spot with a perfect view while I trudged down the hill to the first Starbucks I saw.  Maybe coffee, hot chocolate and scones would distract us all from the cold.  After standing in the coffee line that went out the door for half an hour, I finally got our order and walked back up.  The hot drinks warmed us up for about fifteen seconds and we were all cold again.

Tim decided to try and find at least some extra socks or something else to layer up the boys.  This time the boys and I planted ourselves in our spot while he went a few blocks over to the mall.  Meanwhile, while we were shivering, but still enjoying the fan fare of it all, people started to filter in around us.  This nice family with a few kids came and stood right next to us.  We were all happily chatting and waiting for everything to start.  Cars were driving down the road with twelve flags, honking like crazy to the cheers of all the waiting people.  When the police finally closed off the road, people on bikes, and one guy in a skin tight neon green suit and blue wig came roller skating down the road.

More and more fans were filtering in and room was beginning to run out.  The sidewalks were about four rows deep and I saw people finding their way up onto roofs and balconies of the surrounding buildings.  We were on the front row edge of a corner so I knew our spot would yield great views of the players.  People were starting to push gently from behind, but we held our ground.  The side street next to us finally got closed off by the authorities so people filtered in to the other side of us.

By the time Tim got back to us, there wasn't a lot of standing room left.  He had found some extra socks just in time because both boys were starting to whimper and complain that their feet hurt.  He knelt down to layer up their toes.  The nice mom to the left of us, graciously offered some of her extra toe-warmers.  Even though I was a bit self conscious that we weren't more prepared, we accepted.  Sometimes it takes a village to keep those appendages warm.

As the boys' feet were slowly warming up, Tim's 6' 4'' self stood back up and took his place back, right next to me.  Then I hear a scratchy, lady voice pipe up from behind.  "OH, NO, you can't do that!  You can't just come in here and stand in front of me.  I was here first!"

I turned around and tried to explain, that actually, if we were acknowledging that arrival time was the trump card, we were here long before she ever set her foot on this frozen curb.

She went on to explain that she was with her whole family and they had been in this spot for a long time and they wouldn't be able to see anything if Tim were standing right there.  She quickly got wound up and her voice was getting louder and louder and angrier and angrier.  Tim kept listening to her and repeatedly interjected in a slow and steady voice, "You need to calm down.  There are kids around."

Meanwhile, I was getting angrier as well.  Who was she to assert that this spot had her name on it?  And if we were really looking at the facts, we had more claim to it than she and her hundred family members who showed up thirty minutes prior.  At one point she was trying to explain the angle of her view.  I guess Tim was in her 90 degree angle view.

I got sucked into the heated conversation and it all began to fall apart.  I can use my logic tool when I am in a calm environment, but I am completely useless in a heated debate.  I was trying hard though.  I guess trying to convince her that, actually, more of a 60 degree angle view was better because of the trajectory of the parade coming down from the north side of the street.  She wasn't having it and I wasn't thinking anymore anyway.

"HE CAN'T HELP HOW TALL HE IS!" Those words just vomited out of my mouth.  And since it was such an intellectual zinger, she was kind of confused.

Then I decided to give my old pal, passive aggressive, a turn.  I simply turned back around to face the street.  I scooted my body right in front of the short nasty lady and threw in the calm jab, "He could have stood right here instead."

Obviously, she wasn't too pleased with that move, so she grabbed my official sideline Seahawks beanie and threw it on the ground.

Now, Tim had been engaging her the whole time.  He had been extremely calm and reasonable, unlike his lovely wife.  He's normally even keeled unless, UNLESS, you go after me or the boys.  So this was definitely crossing his line.

He looked down on her and told her, "You can't touch someone, sister, that's called assault.  You can't touch my wife!"

This change in Tim startled her so she started to irrationally back peddle.  "It's not assault!  I speak English!"

"Umm, your abilitiy to speak English has nothing to do with your intelligence."

" I'm a .....

Tim had had enough.  "You're a what?  Please tell me you do something really important for a living to excuse your behavior."

I think she was noticing all the stares and slight steps away from the situation.  We were too and so when she finally shut up about everything, I grabbed my hat off the ground and turned around.  We waited on the parade to start while our teeth chattered away. The nice lady next to us, took pity on us and offered to share her family's blanket with our boys.  She was probably thinking, "Oh my gosh!  I feel so bad for these boys.  Their mother didn't even dress them warm enough and besides, she's certifiably crazy."  She earned her stars that day by taking care of the boys who were destined to be dragged around downtown Seattle with a lunatic for a mom.

If you haven't figured it out already, there is no moral to this story.  It's just one more example of my inability to express clear thoughts when put on the spot.  Then again, maybe it's my lesson that I should keep my mouth shut when I know my brain will definitely not back me up.  Selfishly, this also may be one teeny reason why it might be a good thing we lost the Super Bowl this year.  No championship, no parade, no ridiculous irrational debates in the streets.  Granted, we live a five hours drive away from Seattle now, but those kind of obstacles have never stopped us from showing our spirit before. There's always next year.  I'll try to reign the crazy in if that happens, but I can't make any promises, because BEAST MOOOOOOOODE!

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