Although I'm no fool. I see the seeds of I'm-gonna-run-all-round-this-joint-and-dance-down-the-aisle slowly and intentionally maturing in her bright little blue eyes.
It's in the way she watches the other kids get up and run to the front for the children's sermon. It's in the way she watches the older kids jump up and down the steps, and it's in the way she notices that one little girl that always gets to leave in the middle and play in the cry room.
There is a myriad of reasons she stays so busy and content in the pew or standing just in front of it. When I watch her standing there and using the pew as a desk, I think I can almost remember being small enough and standing there, just below the hymnals and Welcome! cards.
She plays with her horses, she colors, she draws on her Etch-a-Sketch thingie, she eats "poofs," she drinks water, she might nurse her bottle, she flips through the hymnal with all the delicacy of a tromping elephant, and she plays with jewelry.
Most specifically, she likes to play with my watch. She'll ask me to take it off, and then she spends whole minutes in a row trying to get it on her wrist. And she loves playing with her daddy's big, Volkswagen-sized Aggie ring. Last time, she wore it as a necktie.
But seriously...who would have guess all those years ago, when B went to pick up that esteemed Aggie ring, that he'd one day sit in a church pew and hand it to Baby Girl for distraction.
Well, maybe he did imagine it, as I think he did the same with HIS dad's ring.
The whole Aggie Ring day/event was almost as much for me as for him. When it was time for me to get my Aggie ring, I did it on my lunch hour, from my brand new "Can I leave now?" desk job. I drove to the building (alone), I went in and picked it up and tried it on (alone), and then I drove to Sonic and ordered a bacon cheeseburger (alone). I ate the burger and fries and soda alone, too. And I marveled at how impressively heavy the ring was. I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to lift that hand or type or point at the sky or scratch my ear - ever again.
I still say that my ring should have cost only 1/3 of what it actually came out to; I'm not trying to squelch on the talent it takes to put the ring together, but come on: I wear a size 4 1/2. No way did my ring require the amount of material that, say, my husband's did. Earth only needed to be hit with a pebble in comparison to the asteroids the husband's ring required.
The whole day, despite the drizzle and the heavy rain that morning, was lots of fun. Festive, for sure. The university certainly knows how to celebrate Big Time. There were parents, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, and wistful-looking freshmen standing in every nook and cranny. Cameras and phones had the whole place buzzing with an electric aura.
Once we made the pick-up and took our "gig 'em" picture, we began the cross country trot back to our vehicle. As we walked farther away and the circus noise got softer and softer behind us, it felt a little sad to leave the party already.
Please look at my thumb.
As if you could not look at my thumb.
I wonder if we'll be back here in 21 years or so, watching our girl get her Aggie ring?
Will she get it late, as a transfer student a la her mother?
Or will she get something else entirely, if her grandmother has a say, and find herself in Waco, Texas?
Or will she travel the world or become a missionary or a mechanic or color my hair in a salon 21 years from now?
If we do find ourselves back at Reed Arena, picking up a tiny-sized Aggie ring 21 years from now (here's hoping she gets my fingers and not her dads - YIKES!), I know I'll be remembering Brady's day. And the sounds. And this blog post. And the picture of my broken thumb. And then, we'll have come one full, big circle.