After spending the good part of tonight packing our life into Chris's truck, the fam is headed to the loveliest village on the plains tomorrow morning.
It is the annual Spring scrimmage; baby's first A-Day. And not just any A-Day. Tomorrow marks the last rolling of the Auburn Oaks at Toomer's Corner. The Oaks that I have been celebrating under since I was a child.
I remember getting my face painted at J&M's nearly 20 years ago, walking with my parents to the grassy field (that is now a massive parking lot & freshman dorms) to tailgate with my older cousins who were in school there at the time. I remember following the crowds down to Toomer's Corner after a win- shakers in tow- excited to squeeze my way through the sea of people to the trunks of those trees, just to try my best at catching & throwing one of the flying rolls of toilet paper. I remember the countless times I took a look around at it all and thought to myself, "One day, I will go to school here. I will live here."
And I did.
And it was one of the best times of my life.
Now, I am nearly 30 years old with a daughter of my own. And on her first encounter with the trees of my past, it will also be her last. But I am so thankful she will get to experience them at all.
I don't care that she will have no clue or memory of it.
I will, and it will be one of those moments that I will treasure as a parent- to be able to share my love of something with my child.
The magnificent trees will undoubtedly be replaced with something suitable, but never will the replacement be as remarkable as the oaks. Tomorrow will be the last time Auburn's family celebrates under the trees. Someone from a rivalry team poisoned the Oaks over 2 years ago. Everything has been done to stall the inevitable. They will be removed next week.
I couldn't care less about the actual game of football tomorrow. Tomorrow, Rilynn gets to see those trees. And I get to see it unfold.
Some well-written articles on Auburn's Oaks and their story.
Final Roll Call
Very precious children's books written about Auburn and/or the Oaks.