One of my favorite high school memories is from senior year. A couple of the guys from our class decided to create a huge scavenger hunt race around town. The list was filled with ridiculous and hilarious items that each car in the race had a couple hours to try to find. Our car full of girls collected everything possible on that list. At the end of the list were crazy items for extra points. One of these items was to be towed to the finish line by a tow truck. We went to a gas station, flirted with the attendant, and he agreed to do it.
The end of the race was at a vacant parking lot. All of the participating cars were there and the “judges” were counting everyone’s items. Never will I forget our grand entrance at that finish line. I honked the horn of my giant blue Grand Marquis Mercury. 6 of us girls in the car were hoisted high up in the air, windows down and cheering, being towed to the finish line. In our car, among other things, we had someone’s 5 year old sibling, a diaphragm belonging to one of our moms, and a bag of dog crap. It was the best.
Today, I feel exactly the same way I did that night: like I’m being towed to the finish line. We finished our weekend in Galveston, TX and had our final bus ride of the tour. We said goodbye to our driver Mary as she took us to the airport at 300 am today for a 600 am flight from Houston to Portland, OR. I believe we changed planes at one point but I was so tired after a night of partying and no sleep and an Ambien that the details of how I got here are quite fuzzy. I know I told a cheery cast member to shove his 4 am perkiness up his ass, but I only know this because it was in a text.
Like a scavenger hunt, this tour has helped me find amazing gems I never would have thought to look for. Several relationships in my life have been strengthened because of the commitment to supporting our family, and several fractured ones have been repaired by way of visits with people that I never thought I’d see again.
Family and friends from all over the country that have never seen Sam perform onstage finally got to do so.
One of the most surprising treasure is one that I did not expect to find. So many friends who traveled all over this country got to bond with Sam in a way few moms could ever expect their friends to do. My friend Heather sat in a hotel room with Sam and I for hours in Flint, MI watching our favorite SNL clips. Allison who came to Easton, PA showed Sam her knowledge of Broadway stars and shows over several uninterrupted meals. And Julie who cane to Galveston bonded with him more in 2 days then in all the 10 years she has known him. He has gotten to know my friends as people and not just as someone else’s mom.
Exhausted, but in Portland for a full, final week, I am racing toward the finish line with a whole bunch of new things and people in my life. Yes, I’m bring dragged along, but I’m also cheering for what we have accomplished.
Yesterday, while looking for an old picture, Sam found a picture from 3 years ago. It was of Craig, Sam, and I in NYC. We had seen the Addams Family on Broadway. We met the cast and had a tour of the set arranged through a friend. I met Pugsley’s mom and asked her about her life. She told me about her daily 2 hour commute, the on set tutors, the hours spent away from her other kids, and the job she gave up. I had told Craig in the cab that she was nuts and I would never do that.
And that, my friends, is the bag of crap I bring with me today toward the finish line.
This blog is dedicated to the memory of Brad Bluestone, the creator of that scavenger hunt. Brad passed away the following year in college, but his expression of pure joy at that finish line moment has always stayed with me.
And also, I’m not really sure how we lost that race to the car full of cheerleaders.