In honor of the end of the school year, I’m reposting something I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s the only post I saved from my oldest blog, and it just felt right to put it here, on it’s 6 year anniversary:
The Longhorn Song – May 16, 2008
Every morning, while Olivia and I are sitting at the light by Andy’s Igloo, she looks over at me, as she has almost every morning I’ve ever taken her to school, and says “I hope you don’t sing the Longhorn song, Daddy.”
Longhorn, food long on flavor
Steaks you can savor
This is usually sung in my loudest, highest, most piercing voice. She absolutely loves it, even though she pretends that she doesn’t.
For four years, I’ve driven Olivia to school. The same route, every morning. We know where all the punch buggies are. We’ve inadvertantly run over a squirrel or two. We’ve made it in 8 minutes (where it normally takes 12). We’ve stopped for breakfast at the gas station, and purchased things to eat that would make her mother and her doctor blow a gasket. We’ve “jumped” the railroad tracks, and taken shortcuts, and stopped to look at fishing tackle. More than once we’ve been late. There’s one place where we sometimes roll our windows down and listen to the parrots chirping in the tree (yes, they are parrots. I don’t know where they came from). We’ve been behind school busses and fire trucks and dump trucks and at least one tractor and stopped by numerous trains. Twice we’ve stopped to identify reptiles in the road. We’ve sang Linkin Park, and Hannah Montana, and Fort Minor, and High School Musical (1 & 2), usually way louder than her mother or her doctor should ever know about. We’ve run out of gas (once), had a flat tire (once), and broken the speed limit (742 times).
Whenever we come into view of the light at Andy’s (where we stopped for a breakfast milkshake one time), she observes whether or not anyone is sitting at the light, trying to determine how long we’ll have to wait before we cross the intersection. Once we make that light, we’re home free. And most mornings, at that light, she mentions the Longhorn song.
Recently, we’ve decided she’s going to a different school next year. Nothing that her school has done wrong, just the fact that there aren’t enough kids in her class. And this decision means that at some point, she and I will take this drive for the last time.
This morning, we made the light. It happens about once a month, the perfect confluence of events that means there’s no stop. Which means there’s no song.
In my rush to get her to school today, it wasn’t until that intersection that I realized today was the last time we’d make that trip. As we careened into the parking lot (with two minutes to spare) I mentioned to her that this would be the last day I would ever take her to HCA.
As the weight of my words hit her, she looked at me with glossy eyes and asked:
“Do you think you could please sing the Longhorn song, Daddy?”