We took our oldest son to the Motor City Bowl in Detroit, Michigan on December 26. He loved seeing the skyscrapers, going to Ford Field, seeing the marching bands (his favorite part) and cheering for Central Michigan University. This is the second time in a row my husband and I went, but the first for our son with autism.
What I'll always remember is getting to our hotel at the Renaissance Center at the same time as the Purdue Marching Band and sitting behind #19's (Josh Gordy, a defensive back) rather large cheering section. I'll also remember that our quarterback looked quite a bit older than the 2006 Motor City Bowl MVP did last year as a freshman.
What my husband will likely remember is our beloved Central Michigan University team falling way behind in the first half and then rallying in the second half to lose 48 to 51 to Purdue. He'll also remember taking our son to the restroom after the bands played at halftime only to become separated twice before returning to our seats. This scared my nine year old son, although the two made it back together without any intervention from security personnel.
"I'm going home," my son said in a determined voice when he first saw me after the restroom trip. His lips were pursed in his characteristic pout.
He jumped out of his seat and said this several times before he relaxed and started cheering again. I pointed at the clock and said we'd stay for the fifteen minute third quarter. Fortunately for us, he relaxed by the fourth quarter and the three of us were able to stay for the entire game. The game was lost in the last two seconds so we were fortunate our son settled down.
Overall it was a fun experience but ironic because I was the one overwhelmed for the whole first half. The noise, the crowds and the general largess of Ford Field got to me a little bit. However, unlike my son, I just sat in my seat and tried my best to focus on the game. When I finally relaxed around halftime, my son became tense. Go figure.
We still had a great time. Our memorable trip ended with breakfast at the Riverside Cafe and the ride back to my in laws' home in Ohio. I took a nice nap and my child sat quietly as my husband drove us to our destination. Our almost five year old gave us a big hug upon our return to grandma and grandpa's house and our trip came to an end.