We made it out to the farm on Saturday with enough time to eat lunch, eat cake and play one badminton game. But Ri got to soak it up a bit longer out there with her friend Henley. Jon, Mario and I had to head back to Columbus for his Meet the Team night in the Grandview Stadium.
Ri and Henley had a good time holding Elena and riding the horses and playing yoga kickball with Peepaw and Jorge. Poor Henley took a hike with me and Ri and fell on her back as she tried to swing on a vine. Then she got stung by a bee. I’m not sure a trip back to the farm will be happening soon for her…!
I always forget how self sufficient Ri is on the farm. She’s completely able to traverse the farm without any issues, and when she falls she just picks herself up and keeps truckin’. A true farm gal. But we gave kudos to Henley for not giving up and trying that vine again. She succeeded at swinging on it the second time.
Meanwhile, Mario, Jon and I went to Meet the Team night. Mario was in his element with his guys. He soaks up that testosterone and jumps right into all the boy antics.
The high school boys came out last and all the younger boys get to form a line on each side of them to cheer them on. We watched Mario smile as he slapped the high school boys’ hands. The high school boys got to introduce themselves and name their favorite breakfast food. Mario will fit right into this football group based on the answers we were hearing. I believe 80% of the boys answered that their favorite breakfast food was donuts or pancakes.
After the stadium event, the Touchdown Club held a gathering at the Italian Club down the street. We weren’t going to attend but after sitting around the house for an hour, we decided to head down. Mario was again in his element. He partied it up with his football buddies tossing the football and running around the place. He even jumped on stage without hesitation when Gangum Style came out of the speakers.
We had to drag him out of the building at 9:30 to head home.
While Ri and Henley were trying to read to Elena Sunday morning, Mario was chowing on eggs and waffles preparing for his first football game.
Jon headed up to the field with Mario at 11 am. He had to get weighed in and practice before the noon game. I gasped when I saw him – big ol’ shoulder pads and jersey with his name on it. He looked like a miniature pro football player.
He was ready to play. He has no desire to throw or catch the ball; he just loves to tackle. He’s not scared of the big boys either. I thought I’d be scared half to death watching him but I wasn’t. I saw him hold his own play after play and felt surprisingly calm. Now, I’m sure the day will come where I will exhibit nerves and fear (especially if he is catching the ball and getting tackled) but I’ll enjoy watching him play for now. He’s also quite the nut of the team.
They ended up tying the game. Mario looked like me after a long run – completely drenched in sweat. He got a celebratory hot dog and walked out with the love of his life, Grandma Ionno.
Of course, he had to take off his shirt and strut it out back to the car. I used to not be able to picture my little guy as a teenager but as I snapped this picture, all I could see was Mario at age 16.
Hence why I agreed to read Dracula to him for a half hour last night at bedtime – I’ve got to get the snuggle time in with him while I am able.
And Ms. Maria is heading right up that path, too. I go to say goodnight to her and find her in her pjs, wet hair combed from a shower, looking up iPhones on her iPad. But just when I was about to leave her room, she noticed me and sang “mom, can you scratch my back and bring me water.” There’s my baby girl.