Guest Post: Jonquil. Oh Y’all, This One Has Pictures.

Jimmie and I met in college, and we shared a pretty unusual work-study job.  We were managers for the men’s basketball team.  (Editor’s Note: BEST. JOB. EVER.)  You know how Jimmie was all clueless about football, picking teams with cute players as criteria?  Well, we knew every cute basketball player in our division, his stats, and how he treated his manager.   (Editor’s Note:  Rawr!)  And we loved our boys, even crushing on a few here and there.   We attended practices (swept the floor), shared pre-game meals (spaghetti and green beans), traveled with the team (curfews and hotel rooms make for funny stories), maintained the bench (we can make a mean water bottle), and helped keep things organized (Coach always needed help with his keys).   

Remember how I told you I have no rear end? This here is proof. Ridiculous. Jimmie in mustard (what was I thinking?) and Jonquil in blue.

There were four of us girls—Jimmie, the Bookkeeper, the Stat, and me.  Only recently did I remember a nickname Jimmie and Bookkeeper called me:  MIT.  It stood for Mom-In-Training.  Apparently, I may have gone a little overboard in my managing.  (Editor’s Note:  A little?  Nosiree.  She LIVED for it.)  Now that I’m a mom of two, I think they were onto something.

Then:  I would find inspiring quotes to hang up at practice and make posters and signs for our team, especially for big games.  Jimmie even got me to go in the DEKE house to decorate a door once.  (Editor’s Note:  The DEKE house was G-R-O-S-S.  Gross.  The level of Jonquil’s dedication knew no bounds.) 

Now:  I am definitely a cheerleader for my family.  I will stuff notes in their backpacks, write notes on bananas in their lunches, and cheer them on in all their endeavors.

Then:  I would practically pack every guy’s bag, including being prepared for anything with the two team bags. Then I had to comb the locker room one last time to make sure nothing was left behind.  (Editor’s Note:  It wasn’t unheard of for Jonquil to help the guys with their laundry.  No way no how was I up for that.) 

Now:  I have to practically pack Esteban, Cookie and Essie (Jonquil’s adorable children), including all the other stuff we’ll need for a trip; and, I definitely make a final sweep of the house or hotel room before leaving.

Then:  I would nag people to remember this or that.  (Editor’s Note:  Oh, yes she did.)

Now:  Oh, yeah, I nag.

Then:  I would set my alarm early and I would cheerfully make sure everyone else was awake, especially on the road. (Editor’s Note:  This “cheerfully making sure everyone was awake” business included a before dawn telephone call in which Jonquil would trill merrily into the phone “Gooooood morning, have a happy!”  No.)

Now:  My good morning humor did not survive pregnancy.  I hit snooze as many times as possible and don’t want to muster more than a grunt as a morning greeting.

Then:  l learned things I never thought I’d need to know.  For instance, jock strap size is based on waist size, people. (Editor’s Note: Boys, get over yourselves.)

Now:  If Essie tells you she doesn’t want anything else to eat, the extra food you made her finish will come back to haunt you in a stomach flu nightmare.

Then and now:  Jimmie was a hoot!  (Editor’s Note:  <preen>)

When I graduated, Jimmie gave me a scrapbook of my senior year, and a basketball signed by all our boys.  I can look at that ball and recall all the highs and lows of each season, and the enormous amount of fun we had.  MIT was not such a bad nickname after all, and I am grateful for the extra training I received as a mom. 

(Editor’s Note:  She was and still is fantastic at all of that.  Centre College Men’s Basketball will never be the same.  Her family can attest to that.) 

Jonquil and Jimmie, age 12. So, so young.

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