Almost always Steven and I have the same conversation about an hour and fifteen minutes into our drive. It goes like this...
ME: Hey, Honey?
ME: You wanna take a tour of your favorite place?
STEVEN: Nope. Why would I want to visit that hell hole?
ME: (laughing) Just thought I'd ask.
About 15 years prior we took that exit full of hope and a little sadness. He was going to his first ever college football experience at NEO (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College). It was a sad time for us in our relationship, but an even harder time sports wise. Usually, 'hell hole' doesn't fit in our vocabulary, but that is exactly what that place was for him. No family other than his brother, nasty food, nasty dorms, nasty girls throwing themselves at future NFL prospects, coaches that use curse words like while talking about the local weather. It wasn't a good place.
So you can imagine my amazement when I struck up our usual conversation about taking exit 313, and Steven said, "Yeah, let's do it." I about choked on my own saliva, but there we were driving down the road to his old stomping grounds.
He actually really enjoyed going back. He loved showing Little Man his locker room, practice field, game field, and old dorm. Most of those places have been redone with the exception of the dorms. I'll let Little Man's words be known to you when he walked into his Daddy's old room, "Daddy, this is NOT a nice place." I didn't even go in. I knew what nastiness resided in there. EWWWW! Not to mention I was afraid Chubby Cheekers would touch something and contract a non-curable disease. As for Little Miss, she was too taken by the fountains to know anything else was going on. We hung out there waiting for the boys.
All in all, we are glad we stopped. It allowed us to reflect on how far we've come since 1998. Please also note the adorable photo bomber in the bottom corner. Picture compliments of Little Man.