Gabby has made only one football game this season. I was feeling a bit guilty. I mean .. I paid for her a season ticket. And she’s only been to ONE game! How dare she inspire such wasteful spending.
|Photos from the game|
So when Appalachian State had its final home game of the regular season, I promised Gabby she could go. And she wanted to. Then I saw the forecast and, well, she still wanted to go. It was going to be cold. Winter-like cold. The high was just above 30. Rain was forecast. Sleet was possible. And there was a chance of snow. Plus the game kicked off at 3:30. Did I mention it was going to be cold?
Gabby was prepared. As she told everyone at the tailgate, she had on three pants and four shirts. Plus a hat. And mittens. And scarf. None of which she actually wore while we tailgated.
When game time came, I added the three missing links. Plus her black and gold Santa hat. Off we went. As soon as we found our seat, it started drizzling. And the wind picked up. And Gabby wanted her bear blankie. (HOW COULD I FORGET THE BEAR BLANKIE!)
I admitted bear blankie was at home. She nodded. Looked at nothing. And. Went. To. Sleep. I had a tarp-liek jacket covering her from shoulders to tie. A second jacket was over her head. She was cocooned from the alternating onslaught of rain and sleet. And don’t forget the wind.
I woke her at halftime. She didn’t like that. I took her with Carter down to hear the band. (We sat at the front row of the band’s section in the stands). We danced to Proud Mary, among other selections. But when the music died, so did Gabby’s already dwindled enthusiasm. It was dark. Wet. Cold. And still drizzling.
“I want to go home da-da.”
The game was still close. I didn’t want to leave. I bribed her with popcorn. So we got a bag (and soda!) and went back to our seats. She was content the entire third quarter. But early in the fourth she threw in the soaked towel.
GABBY: Da-da. I want to go home now.
ME: In a minute. Let daddy watch just a little more football and we’ll go.
GABBY: (Louder) I. Want. To Go. Home. NOW!
ME: (looking around for DSS snitches. Seeing more than one) Okay honey, we’ll go.
So with eight minutes to go and ASU clinging to an oh-that’s-too-close-to-be-comfortable lead over Elon, we departed. I carried her out. Down the stadium steps. Out the stadium. Through the stadium parking lot. And never did she want to walk. Everytime I broached the subject of her ever-increasing burden on my back, she replied.
“You’re holding me with your strong arm, da-da. Your arm is stong.”
So the kid knows flattery. And manipulation. (I pity any boy who ever gets a crush on her.)
Almost to the car, she did let me put her down for a second. During the respite she hammed for the camera. Looks miserable, doesn’t she?
When we finally got settled in the car, I flipped on the radio. The ASU radio team was all aflurry over the snow which was falling in the stadium. We just missed that. There’s always this Saturday. Playoff time! Just don’t tell Gabby the forecast. I want to see the whole game.