Monday, May 31, 2010

It helps to have someone to lean on...

Another mid-90 degree day in Longview prompted a late afternoon Memorial Day trip to the aptly named Longview Mall. After Lover sorted through a stack of Chick-Fil-A calendar coupons (we got three of them this past year for Christmas and we dutifully use the coupons each month), we loaded the kids up in the Prism and fired up the AC for the 10 minute trip.

Clutching our "Free Small Handspun Milkshake" coupons, we parked near the JCPenny door and scampered inside with the double stroller. We wound our way past painfully empty stores and "who thought this was a good idea?" kiosks scattered down the middle of the mall. Sam and Titus were unusually calm and quiet as we meandered through the echoing halls.

We waited in line for our milkshakes (Lover got a peach flavored one and I chose cookies and cream) and then continued our walking tour of the mall. We came across a group of kids having a grand old time on the children's rides, so we dug through Lover's purse and found $.75 to cover the cost of the riding horse. Didn't those things used to cost a quarter? Evidently, "times is hard" for the children's rides...

We naturally assumed that riding the horsey would be the best way for Sam to celebrate our trip to the mall. Naturally, we assumed wrong.

And then it got awkward.

Sam started kicking and screaming in terror when we tried to place him on the mechanical horse. You'd have thought he had experienced a severe traumatic fall off a horse or that he was bitten by a huge stallion at one point...the poor kid was just petrified. Having put the quarters in the machine and determined that we would get our money's worth, we quickly decided that Lover should get on the horse WITH Sam to make the ride more bearable.

I couldn't stop laughing as I watched my brave Lover climb on this decrepit mechanical horse while Sam clung to her in abject terror. He calmed down after a bit of fussing and I am happy to report that he did derive some enjoyment from the experience. It was quite the sight to behold. At least we got our $.75 worth of fun...and fortunately I had the camera out to record the adventure.

We kept walking after the horse ride and just a few shops down the hall we came across this
scene on one of the mall benches. I am SO angry about the timing of this picture, because it looks like the couple on the right side of the bench is just sitting near each other. But make no mistake: they were MUGGING each other just before I snapped the picture. It looked like we were back in Paris at the Metro stations where PDA is standard operating procedure...I mean, these kids were just making out like no one was around. Meanwhile, the poor sap on the left side of the bench just sat there listening to his headphones. Painfully awkward. My guess? He had to go to the mall with his sister and hang out while she played kissy face with her 9th grade boyfriend. It would have been legendary if I could have gotten a good picture of the amorous festivities, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.

We enjoyed the rest of our walk and made it back to the car for the ride home. As we drove home, we went down Judson Road and saw that it was lined with American flags in honor of Memorial Day. I thought about my friends and relatives that have served our country and realized that our whole trip to the mall was just a small glimpse of what Memorial Day is all about.

Sam needed to know that his momma was there for him on the horse...she was on his side and she protected him from what terrified him. It's good to know that you've got folks that are WITH you...that you can lean on.

I thought about the silly bench couple that couldn't keep their hands off each other and I remembered how it felt to have a ridiculous crush in middle school. It's good to know that you've got folks that are WITH you...that you can lean on.

Incidentally, I lucked out and ended up married to my middle school crush...and as we drove home with the boys sleeping in the back seat, I thought, "It's good to know that you've got folks that are WITH you...that you can lean on."


  1. Poor Sam! Glad he was able to conquer that horse... Great post... made me laugh several times!

  2. great memorial day post...absolutely. And we know that Deb secretly LOVED riding the horse with Sam. :)