Every December, San Marcos, which is a town about 45 minutes north of San Antonio has a Christmas event called The Sights and Sounds of Christmas. San Marcos is actually where I went to college at Southwest Texas State University which has now just become Texas State University and, when Tanner was about 3 or 4 we moved there so that he could start preschool at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin.
Needless to say, San Marcos holds many special memories for me. It was the place where I finally discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up. Once I had that focus, it was like nothing could stop me. I could get through just about anything, including a Physics class that scared the crap out of me and almost kept me from pursuing my degree in Communication Disorders to begin with. My time in college was probably one of the happiest periods of my young adult life. I was thinner (not “thin” but thinner), in great shape, excelling in my academic pursuits and feeling great about who I was inside and out. I had a new found confidence that had been lacking through most of my earlier years and while I always struggled with insecurities, I think I was most sure of myself at this time. So yeah…good times.
Later, when we moved back there to shorten the commute to TSD, I found that I really loved living in a smaller town; especially as a young mother. I used to take Tanner to the park there and Erik, Tanner and I would often go to the river and walk the trails after he got home from work. Tanner loved to stop and watch the ducks (well really, he often used them as target practice using pebbles he found alongside the river, but luckily at the age of 3 he hadn’t perfected his aim). Sometimes, we’d just sit by the river and watch it meander past us. Nature was always something that calmed Tanner down and having moments where I could enjoy this challenging kiddo meant the world to the young stressed out mom I was at the time.
San Marcos was also the place where my son went through his super hero phase, wearing a cape (which was really just a towel until he got the batman costume) AT ALL TIMES for at least two years straight. It was also where I began homeschooling him when we discovered TSD wasn’t going to be a good fit. I have fond memories of homeschooling get-togethers and all the friends we made in that network. I LOVED exploring concepts with Tanner and discovering that we shared a love for Science.
I also remember attending the Sights and Sounds of Christmas with Tanner several times over the years and seeing the wonder on his face at all the lights, manufactured “snowflakes” that would rain down as you entered the event area, petting zoo and more. This was the first time I’d been able to go with him in 5 years. The last time I took him, I had a difficult time navigating the area, but I made it. This time, I still had difficulty and had to rest my legs, but only after being on my feet for well over an hour. Five months ago, I could barely manage 5 minutes on my feet before needing to sit down.
I was a bit disappointed, because after standing in line for about 15 minutes waiting for the bus to get to the entrance, then standing in lines for admission, tokens, carousel, kettle corn, and hot chocolate (yes I sampled the latter, but they were mainly for tanner lol), it had been over an hour on my feet. They had nowhere to sit, so I found a curb and sat down. I had gone with my friend Shannon, her daughter Jordan, and their cousin Jeff (who is from Canada and has an ADORABLE Canadian accent “Eh?” He’s also just plain ol’ adorable, but sorry ladies, he’s spoken for…) and although I really felt I needed maybe 10 minutes to rest my legs, I felt bad making them wait, especially since Jordan didn’t have a jacket and it wasn’t getting any warmer. So, ultimately they decided to head over to the main ride area without me. I think they planned on coming back for me, but once they got there, they said it was so crowded, they knew if they came back for me, it would be too late, so I basically sat there for about an hour twiddling my thumbs. I was worried if I went looking for them, we’d cross somewhere and then play hell trying to meet back up to leave (cell phone service was out for ATT users in San Marcos for some reason).
When they finally made it back, it was time to go and Tanner remarked that he felt bad that I got left behind. I assured him that I was happy that he had a good time and that next year would be WAY different! He was going to have to get in shape, because HE was going to be the one trying to keep up with me ;) So, although I didn’t have the experience I hoped I’d have on my first major outing post-surgery, over the weekend I discovered that it brought up lots of wonderful memories and was yet one more small step towards reclaiming my life. Walking under the lights with Tanner, sharing a hot cocoa as we people watched and admired the lights, and yes…even sitting on a curb for an hour breathing in the crisp December air beats the heck out of another night in my recliner which is probably where you would have found me this time last year.