Life Lessons from Gravedigger

I’ve always thought that I was well-suited to have two boys.  I’ve never been a girly girl. I’m no stranger to mud pies, caterpillars, or monkey bars.  So when Corey told me that he got tickets for Monster Jam, it was only natural that my first thought was “Dear Lord – please don’t make me go.”

I knew Cade would love it.  But for some reason, I did not enjoy the idea of being crammed into a small cement arena for the world’s loudest event with 20,000 people I would ordinarily not invite to dinner. (I tried very hard not to be judgmental of our fellow Monster-Jammers, but if you’re wearing a sleeveless jacket made from a confederate flag and hefting an infant with a green mohawk, I am, indeed, judging your life choices.)

Mommy - a tractor!  And it's bringing out cars that will be crushed my monster trucks!  My little boy head may explode!

Mommy – a tractor! And it’s bringing out cars that will be crushed by monster trucks! My little boy head may explode!

Upon arrival at the arena, Cade’s eyes were as big as dinner plates.  I suddenly realized that he had never been amid so many other people, milling about and shouting to loved ones to buy them a hot pretzel or sales people hawking mini Grave Digger hats made from purple foam.  My Mommy senses started tingling — this could be a rough experience for my sensitive boy.

As we walked towards our seats, one of the monster trucks fired up the engine and I realized how ear-splitting it was going to be.  Zombie was louder than what I imagine it would be like to sit atop a 747 as it approaches the runway.  Cade buried his entire head in my coat like an ostrich.  I put noise-cancelling headphones on his little noggin and it made no difference in the terror level.  Flash forward to the hallway, where I returned with him to find a place quiet enough to ask if he wanted to leave.  Death grip on my coat intensified. Still no verbal response.  There was another mother in the hall with me, trying to pry her kid’s fingers loose from her leg.  At least we were in good company.

I thought this was the end.  I saw dollar signs flash by my eyes for the seats our butts warmed for less than five minutes.  The city parking.  And I saw my son, panic bubbling under the surface and looking to me to make sure I didn’t feed him to an angry monster truck.

I took him back inside to get my dad and our things and leave, but I noticed that he was

Atrocious bedhead, amazing trucks!

Atrocious bedhead, amazing trucks!

watching the trucks sail into the air.  He had stopped cowering.  I sat down and watched him.  And pretty soon, he was clutching the railing and shouting with glee as Dragon’s Breath ate up some crushed cars. Pure little boy bliss.

This is my mushy mom moment for the month (like what I did there with the alliteration?).  It never crossed my mind to force him back in to watch the trucks.  I’m not that mom and never will be. I will encourage and support my boys, but if they are ever truly afraid, I won’t force them until they’re ready. I’m happy to be their exit strategy.

So go forth into the world, boys!  Crash into things and skin your knees and run like wild people into the future.  I’ll happily nudge you along.  If you ever really need rescuing, I’ll be waiting nearby with a getaway car, engine running.

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2 Responses to Life Lessons from Gravedigger

  1. Melissa says:

    Your stories alway make me smile!! 🙂

  2. aviets says:

    OMG. As soon as I saw the word “Gravedigger” in the title of your post, I had to read. My husband took our kids (most often our son) to monster truck rallies when they were little, and Gravedigger was always a favorite. We still have the noise-cancelling headphones he bought them to wear on those occasions – I just ran across a pair the other day. Good memories, especially since I was never pressured to go along with them…-Amy

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