Northwestern Family Weekend: Reuniting with My Giant, Bearded, Baby Bird

Northwestern Family Weekend: Reuniting with My Giant, Bearded, Baby Bird

Northwestern Family Weekend: Reuniting with My Giant, Bearded, Baby Bird


Can I just say that my heart skips a beat when I see my boy? It absolutely does. It’s an undeniable, completely uncontrollable physiological response.

I’ve come to accept Logan’s absence on a daily basis as a necessary part of this stage in our lives.

His empty dinner chair no long haunts me.

But every time I get to see him, my heart does a happy dance that would panic EKG-reading cardiologists everywhere.

Frankly, I can’t imagine not feeling this euphoria when we reunite. It seems that a mother’s joy, at least while her children are still young and finding their way in the world, is never so great as when all of her chicks are tucked sweetly under her wing, however fleeting the reunion.

NU Baby Bird


Granted, I fit under his wing better than he under mine these days, but that’s kind of beside the point.



This was the situation:

1. It was family weekend at Northwestern.

2. Jame and I have an aversion to crowds.

3. I am so not a “joiner”. Then again, neither is he.

Those three statements do not work well together, thus we decided that, since we can bop over to see Logan any time we want due to our proximity, we would leave a good portion of the no-parking-elbow-bumping-crowd-jostling events inherent with family weekend to the out-of-towners, and merely attend the football game and take Loge out to a nice dinner afterward.

First, we picked up my sister, Heather, below on the right, and her husband, Steve, at an ungodly early hour just so we could find a place to park amidst the family weekend chaos. I bought everyone purple and white striped scarves and purple hats to honor NU. Frankly, we may have ended up looking like a bunch of purple Where’s Waldos.

I wore what I thought was a purple fleece to honor the occasion, but was chastised the whole livelong day about the fact that it was actually blue. Later, when we picked Logan up for dinner, his first words were not “Hi, nice to see you, Mom!” or “Hey, what a game!”, but rather, “Nice blue shirt, Mom. You do know that Penn State is blue, right?”




Once on campus, we watched the band play in the pre-game show. Do you see my bearded baby chick tucked behind the tuba? Or, wait, that’s actually a sousaphone, no?

Loge marching


Usually when they’re done playing, I just get a royal wave, and Logan is off to tend to other things. Very, very important things I’m, um, sure. This time I got a full-fledged hug, and he even posed for multiple shots. WHOOPIE!!!



Then we climbed up, up and up some more to the nosebleed section where our hapless seats were located and where my sister revealed that she had on not one, not two, but SIX layers of shirts/jackets. Nonetheless, she froze the entire game. This has been the story of her cold, cold life.



Soon after the game began, I glanced to our left and shrieked a little when I got a look at Big-headed Baby Face Boy (BBFB) for the first time. Upon Jame’s urging, BBFB came and paid us a few surprise visits causing me to shriek each time. I would be chatting it up with my sis, or shouting at the refs. who were obviously on Penn State’s payroll, and then when I’d turn around that obscene BBFB mask would be inches away. It was quite unnerving, if I’m being completely honest.



Attending the game was well worth the shrieking episodes, though, because NU won by 3 points in the last 9 seconds! Go Blue Purple and White! (I’m so confused.)




Afterwards, we toured the campus. This is the back lagoon looking westward.



Because Northwestern hasn’t been allowed to build their ever-growing campus outward toward the city center of Evanston, they’ve taken to backfilling portions of Lake Michigan to create more land for buildings. Apparently this has been going on since the 60’s. How clueless have I been?

The new music building below is part of the Lakefill project, which is probably why you have the feeling that you’re on a cruise ship when you’re inside of it.

ct-ct-nwmusicbuilding9-jpg-20151009 ct-ct-nwmusicbuilding1-jpg-20151009

Photos courtesy of: The Chicago Tribune


Here’s Jame decked out in his Northwestern gear. Proud papa.



And this is one of the libraries on campus. Rumor has it that Frank Lloyd Wright called it one of the ugliest buildings he’d ever seen. I beg to differ. I much prefer this type of lovely old building to the angular cruise ship built in the lake.



And to wrap things up, we went out for a delicious dinner.

All in all it was a lovely day. We walked over 12,000 steps according to our friends, the Fitbits, and spent so many continuous hours outdoors, we felt as if we’d been camping.

Goodbye once more to my giant, bearded, baby bird.


I’ll see you back in our nest on Thanksgiving eve.

Written by Becky


  • Diane says:

    Hi Becky:

    I so enjoy your commentaries. You very eloquently (and amusingly) describe situations that I have felt myself. Although Jake is technically on his own, I still love having him home. The second child leaving home hits just as dramatically but differently. One never forgets the first one to leave, so thank you for putting great words to those feelings.

    • Becky says:

      Aw thanks, Diane! I’m so glad you enjoy them. We were just talking about you the other day – about the gift show. Were your ears ringing? We miss you!

  • Mark Orr says:

    GREAT article. How fast our kids grow up….. It’s all about family…..

    Mark Orr

  • What a hoot that weekend was for all of you, Becky! I just loved the blog posting with all of the photos and funny witticisms. Now let me begin again (repeat of lesson when you were three)….Red, Green, Purple, Blue, Yellow, Orange, White and Black! NW’s colors begin with a “p” and a “w”. Can you guess which ones they are? Enough nonsense. I loved the way you all looked in those terrific scarves, hats, and yes, even your lovely BLUE fleece. What fun it all was! I am sorry that I no longer feel secure climbing up, up, up into those stands. Nope, not for me, but thanks for inviting me anyway. And your baby bird looks wonderful, (if a bit hairy) in his uniform. I can surely understand the pride you and Jame feel when you see him acclimating to his brand new NW life. Did I ever tell you that he’s a winner? YLM

    • Becky says:

      Yeah, I was thinking of you as we climbed the stairs that were no doubt part of a psych experiment; one stair was 2 inches tall, the next 10, the next 8. Very difficult to navigate!

      And in terms of Logan’s beard, it was all I could do not to pull out my sewing kit scissors from my purse and give that ratty facial hair a trim!

  • Kristie says:

    Lovely blog Becky. Such a wonderful weekend for you… crowds and all.

  • Patty from MMC says:

    Looks like you all had a great time! I’m happy Heather and Steve could share the day with you and Jame. It looks like it was worth braving chilly temps. It was a good weekend for football. (Everyone in Omaha is thrilled – and somewhat amazed – that Nebraska defeated Michigan State! And Iowa is still undefeated!)

    • Becky says:

      I know! Those Midwest, corn-fed teams are looking mighty good. Now we’re waiting to hear which bowl game NU will be invited to attend, assuming they are, and whether or not we want to attend. I’m hopeful for the San Diego bowl game, but one in sunny FL wouldn’t be too shabby in early January either!

  • Lisa says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful weekend! Laura is on fall break and is home until Wednesday, so my heart has been beating quite like yours. Having her in hug distance, hearing about all her new friends and adventures, and, yes, cleaning her long hair off of the shower wall fills my heart full:)

    • Becky says:

      I’m so glad you’re getting your bonding time in, Lisa! How does that work? She’s home for fall break now, and will go back to school soon, but she’ll still be able to come home for Thanksgiving, right?

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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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