Smelly Socks: A way to get me to medical school
Living in South Texas, I am sure that you are familiar with the Texas Mile. If you, your husband, or your kids watch the Speed Channel and follow racing, I am sure that you have heard of it.
It is an event that takes place at an abandoned airport in Beeville. Drivers pay an entry fee and they are allowed to race their car, as fast as they can go, for one mile. Also, for a fee, anyone can go and watch the cars and see their recorded speeds, which are displayed for viewers on screens and on the radio station that you turn to when you enter the airport. It is a three-day (Friday-Sunday) event that happens twice a year.
My husband, John, always tries to include me in the family (meaning "boy") activities and outings. Although my feelings would not be hurt just to sit on the couch and watch some meaningless Lifetime or WE channel show by myself for a while, I do appreciate him wanting to include me.
So off we go to this extreme car show of sorts. The closer we get to the airport, the excitement in our car builds as Vipers, Ferraris, Shelbys and Lamborghinis pass us by. My husband and boys love anything with motors, especially the cool exotics. I know the exact same feeling, except mine usually revolves around shoes and purses.
We park, gather our cameras and binoculars, and set off to look at the cars. Since this event is centered along this mile-long stretch, you have about a two-mile strip where all of the cars and trucks are parked. There are all sorts of trucks, motorcycles, sports cars and kit cars, racing and non-racing alike. They are all out for display and the ultimate boasting rights.
We immediately see some enormous trucks that make Jamison squeal in excitement. As I have mentioned in previous columns, my boys are polar opposites. Jamison is all about trucks, the bigger the better. He has informed John and me that he wants an "enormous pickup truck with a big brush guard" when he turns 16.
I kind of like that idea, since I know that he will be protected with some metal around him. Jamison runs to go stand by these huge trucks and asks me to take pictures of him. He barely stands taller than their steps, but he just says, "The bigger the better."
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, my Austin is all about "cool." He prefers vintage muscle cars or fast cars that make heads turn and policemen take notice. Fear builds in my chest in preparation of when that child gets his driver's license.
After about two hours of walking in the intolerable Texas heat, stopping to look at engines and "really cool" cars, trucks and motorcycles it suddenly happens.
Austin's prayers have been answered and the angels sing out as we walk up to a cherry red Ferrari convertible. It is beautiful and Austin is absolutely speechless, he turns to me and the words just don't come out.
I tell him to go and stand by it and so I could take his picture. The car's owner, who witnessed this entire speechless scene, told Austin to go ahead and sit in the car. That sweet man made my child's day. He carefully gets in and poses as if he is driving this glorious Italian machine, while I am clicking away at him with my camera.
The owner turns to Austin and politely says, "Boy, you'll have a car like this one day." I smile kindly and say, "Oh, maybe when he finishes medical school." The Ferrari owner smiled, shook his head in agreement, and said that he was a doctor, "a pediatrician."
As we were walking away from the glorious Italian Ferrari of his dreams, Austin grabbed my hand and whispered in my ear, "Mom, I knew that you would figure out a way to get me to go to medical school. And, oh yeah, can we switch pediatricians, I will really like going to that guy."
Johanna is a proud seventh generation Texan. She lives on her family's South Texas ranch with her husband and two lively boys. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at firstname.lastname@example.org.