Friday, June 28, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. the Opening Ceremonies

Look! Look! A Special Olympics post with no food in it! Wonder of wonders....

In the 15 plus years that Awkward Uncle has been attending the Special Olympics, we have seen many an Opening Ceremony. Naturally, they are all wonderful in their parade of athletes, the truly awe-inspiring torch run, and, our personal awkward favorite, the Knights of Columbus strolling about in their plumed finery. We delight in the traditions and look forward to the unique touches that mark each Opening Ceremony. That said, some Opening Ceremonies are just better than others. The entertainment is more entertaining. The microphones are working better. The planning is just more seamless. We still talk about the first year we went and the entertainment was what seemed like 50 light-up floats that magically bobbed and weaved all over the field, like a graceful game of bumper cars. There was ultra-patriotic 2002 with its 100 American flags and Jim Nabors poems. There was the year of the "ghost" marching band that is best explained by musician Awkward Dad; their "magic" was lost on me. Not all stellar, but all manageable. Well, my darling Readers, this year's Opening Ceremony, I hate to say it, was a bust.

It hurt me to type that. I want to love them all, and, to be fair, we still had most of our beloved traditions. We got there way too early to get a good parking spot and a good seat. We let the children romp and race over the field while we breathlessly awaited the first Knight to pass by in his feathers, so Awkward Grandma could lean over and reenact the entire Knight who say Nee scene. We cried while watching the slide show of athletes. We people-watched and shamelessly judged anyone in heels. We forgot which area Awkward Uncle was in, like we do every year, and had to strain to hear each and every group to see if we could figure it out. Nothing out of the ordinary. 

Pretty standard, really.

But then, the microphones are suddenly way worse than previous years, or the folks using the microphones are, because we can't hear anything but a low mumble. Which is also when we realize that the construction that is halfway finished on the stadium means that the athletes won't be sitting in the bleachers like they normally do, and that the roped-off areas that Super Baby has been flagrantly ignoring are where the athletes are going to sit. All of this means that seeing Awkward Uncle is going to be impossible, especially when we finally figure out what area he is in; the last one to come in. We are pondering this about the time the silence before the national anthem descends and Super Baby decides that is an awesome time to test out her new screaming-on-command abilities. The Super Boys are flailing all over the place and Super Toddler is getting dangerously close to the group next to us in his repeated rolls down the hill. 

This, but picture more people and the solemnity of the national anthem in the background. 

I am starting to wonder how we are gonna make it through the "entertainment;" a college-based circus. (OK, I am mostly worried about me and my crippling coulrohobia.) That is when my mother leans over, I think it is during "and the rockets' red glare," and whispers, "Let's get out of here and go eat something." 

Don't judge us too harshly, we were planning to spend a June Saturday in the spectator section of an indoor pool with half the population of Illinois plus 3 toddlers desperate to get in said pool. We needed to rest for that. And a snack. 

My "I give up" face. 
I make this face a lot. 


  1. Things like that just never go as planned...

    1. Ain't that the truth?! :) They never go as planned, but we always have a wonderful time, so go figure. :)

  2. Did I really say that - Let's go get something to eat - during the Star Spangle Banner??????

    1. It might have been, "let's leave and get something to eat." And you may have waited until the song was over, I reserve dramatic license. :)