Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hope Alive: Making the NCAA Tournament

Every parent knows the anticipation of expecting a new baby, the intense mix of anxiety, fear, and excitement.

I've been a mother three times.

Waiting to hear if your son's team made the NCAA Tournament feels pretty much the same way.

These last two months have been the most mentally and emotionally exhausting in recent memory, especially after the disappointment that was losing the first game of the SEC Tournament. The number of times Vanderbilt has switched between "Joe Lunardi's Last Four Teams In" and "Joe Lunardi's First Four Out" has been head spinning.

Who gave this Joe Schmo such power? Forget Trump. The dude should run for President.

The Kornet house has been a Hampton Inn this basketball season: non-stop visitors, excited for Luke and supportive of the Vanderbilt Commodores. We have done our best to accommodate and are happy to share the unique experience with friends and family. Most of the time.

However, when times are tough, like the tail end of this basketball season, I am depleted. Not enough in the joy tank to go around.

Which is why last night with my boys was a gift.

I had the rare opportunity to hang out with my two sons. I'm thinking Luke, too, needed an emotional break from the Joe Lunardi lunacy, 'cause he hung out with us all night. Trust me, this rarely happens.

It's safe to say that when Jupiter aligns with Mars like this, I turn into Mrs. Beverly Goldberg. (see past posts and indoctrinate yourself into the greatness that is Beverly Goldberg, a most magnificent mom on a hit ABC show.)

Due to the collective limb length of the Kornet men, we must take two cars everywhere. I offered to drive. Much to my surprise, my sons chose me. I carted my  beautiful boys to dinner and on a quick jaunt to the car dealership, the latter being a task I consider as enjoyable as a root canal. But with my sons on board, it was utterly delightful.

I'm pretty sure I never stopped smiling the entire evening. We blared Luke's ipod in my car, the rain outside like dry ice at a Van Halen concert. With every mile, I soaked up my sons' angelic, pitch-perfect voices. These clever young men know that when their mother is in this state of delirium, I will say yes to everything. Hence, they make all sorts of outlandish requests and find great amusement in my acquiescence.

By the time we got home, Luke had downed almost a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts (he's actually an idiot, because I would have bought him a Tesla at this point) and we were all ready to watch a movie together. Another rarity. I kept waiting for the Cinderella clock to strike midnight; but alas, both boys remained at their mother's side.

We watched the movie Everest. A decent flick. I can only say that because it met my sole criteria for a decent movie--I stayed awake.

It was indeed disappointing Jake Gyllenhaal didn't play a larger role. But with that, the evening ended. Luke assured us he'd be at mass the next morning, for which we all showed up and even shared Chipotle afterward. Luke's darling girlfriend came too. (I love her--and his legion of wonderful friends. Vanderbilt University, you attract some good eggs!)

But make no mistake. All of us were simply biding time for the 4:30pm selection show. Praying...overtly and silently...that somehow...Vanderbilt WOULD get in...life would resume...happiness would return...hope would remain!

Profound thanks to the NCAA selection committee that you revealed our status in the first bracket.

Vanderbilt got in.

We play Tuesday, just after 9pm in Dayton, Ohio.

Joe Lunardi, in the words of Gwen Stefani, why'd you have to go and make me like you?