Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Baby's First Visit to Notre Dame

When I was a student at Notre Dame, the Thursdays and Fridays right before a home football game were some of my favorite days of the years. There was a running joke around campus that Notre Dame was like 'Disney World for Catholics', and the crowds that came to visit the place for home football weekends was always an amazing sight to see. Those days, when it took me twice as long to walk home from class because I had to dodge a steady stream of alumni, all so eager to share just a taste of their experiences at the university with the families they had towed along for the weekend, made me feel such pride in my own little place among the years of tradition, I couldn't have imagined choosing to go anywhere else for school. And I couldn't wait to share that feeling with kids of my own.

Last weekend, Steve and I finally got that chance.

And I learned that no matter how hard I've tried to fight it, I haven't been able to avoid becoming one of those 'Well, back in MY day...' kind of people. Also? I've decided I want to go back to school now that there is a Starbucks and a Subway in the student center. WHERE WERE THESE THINGS TWELVE YEARS AGO, HMMMMMM?

As much as things have changed around campus, so many things were still the same. Sure, there were main roads through campus completely erased, new buildings everywhere, a cute little eating and shopping center added right across the street, and the previously mentioned Subway and Starbucks (I will never stop being bitter about this), but the men of Knott Hall still wear those obnoxious orange beanies in 90 degree weather, and the guys' dorms still make their freshmen run through various crowded locations in nothing more than a Speedo, and LaFun still has a little ice cream shop in the back corner of the convenience store, and students everywhere still make their way around campus wearing all things branded with the Notre Dame logo. 

The fight song is still the greatest fight song of all time, and the alma mater can still bring a tear to my eye, and I'm so glad I got to share all of these things with my girls. 

Of course, I also learned that almost-four-year-olds aren't really so much into the sitting through a four hour football game, so I probably won't be sharing these things with my girls again until they're old enough to not need me to spend the entire third quarter of the game running up and down the stadium ramp or to not need my mother to spend the entire fourth quarter making up stories purely for their entertainment, but still...

Things we did this weekend
Friday - shopped at the bookstore, listened to the trumpets playing the fight song under the Dome, watched/listened to the Marching Band step off from the Main Building, lit a candle at the grotto, had our diaper changed and danced naked on top of the tables of the student center (that one was Caitlin specific, thank goodness), went to the pep rally on South Quad.
Saturday - tailgated, ate all of the food, napped naked in the car (Caitlin, again, as I've learned my lesson on that in the past...), survived a brief rain shower, taught Brigid to yell 'Stand up, you pansy' at a QB who does not seem to understand that sometimes you are going to get hit while playing football, sang the alma mater after the game was over.
Sunday - went to mass at the Basilica, for the first time since Steve and I were married there.

Things we did NOT do this weekend:
Get a large soda at the stadium, which means we missed out on our very own collection item of poor proof reading, the 'FIGTHING IRISH' souvenir cup. (Go ahead, look at it again if you need to. If the entire foodservice marketing department missed the mistake, you might need to take a second look to pick it up, too...)

We missed perfection by that much, I guess.


  1. I think that my favorite part of this, other than Caitlin flashing everyone, is the fact that you taught Brigid to say that. The first time I hear her say it, I am going to swoop her up and cover her in a million kisses.

  2. This sounds like it was great. I want to go back and visit my college again.


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