Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Part 3 or Mr. McDowell Goes to the Capital
But here is what happened:
After a lot of dancing around in the Rotundra of the capital, it was finally time to get the kids to the Senators office. We first wanted them to see where we were sitting. We all went to the gallery. (By "we" I mean: my sister, Dawn, Lesley and Rodney, my friend, Tiffany and her son (and Gabe's best buddy) Preston, my mother, and Aaron and I.)
We stood at the elevator for a long time....While we waited the boys told everyone who would listen why they were there. My mom fretted wether our decision to leave the boys ties in the car was wise.
"They found them too uncomfortable," I told her. "Plus the instructions I got just said they needed to have on a suit coat. It didn't say they had to have ties."
"I don't know..." my mom warned, "I don't see anyone here with out one." And then to her grandsons: "I'm sure you will both remember to say 'Yes, Ma'am, No, Ma'am' and 'Yes, sir and no, sir.'" They both promised.
After finding our seats, Aaron and I left the rest of the enterouge there and he and I escorted the boys to Senator Tommy Williams office. We walked in and Reta, his assistant, greeted us with a glorious Texas accent. She is a petite, kind, and mature woman. You can tell that she runs a tight ship there.
"These must be our Cupcake Boys!" she declared.
Others came out of their offices to meet the boys. Those who didn't were beckoned/ordered out and we were told that so-and-so, "has been wanting to meet you boys!" You could tell so-and-so could care less but you did whatever Mrs. Reta said with her Sweet-Tea voice. We also met Chelsie, who has been the one holding our hands through this whole process. She is a beauty! I had been feeling bad for her all day. She had probably big asperations for her time working in the Senators office and today she was to be a glorified babysitter. She was all professional though and smiled to the boys and treated them as serious as anything else that may be going down in the Senate.
"Do they have ties?" she asked. Poop. Aaron ran all the way back to the parking garage to get them.
The boys were offered goldfish and water while they waited. Gabe dropped one and quickly snatched it up.
"Five second rule!" he shouted.
The office erupted in laughter.
"Germs are good for them," Reta assured me. Drew regalled them with his story of his one hour bath to be clean for his Senate appearance and then Senator Williams came out to meet us.
"Cupcake Boys!" he exclaimed. He is a pillar of a man with grey hair. He wore a dark blue suit with a sky blue tie. He has a pleasant look about him but I'm guessing he could be a mean cuss if you crossed him. He also had a big gold nugget on his right hand. An Aggie ring. Whoop! He shook hands with the boys and welcomed them warmly.
"Let's get a picture!" another employee emplored.
Gabe and Drew moved in close to the Senator. He got down on his knees to be at their level and wrapped his arms around them. The boys put their arms around the Senator too and, in synch, put Bunny Ears behind the Senators head! We were all cracking up!!
"Oh this is perfect!" exclaimed the gal taking the picture. About that time Aaron returned with the ties. There was a little bit of complaining and the Senator agreed with them but rules was rules. Aaron and I left the boys in their hands and headed back up to the gallery.
Also in the Senate that day were Miss Texas Pageant Contestants. (This explained why Miss Austin was there at the start...) A section of the gallery was full of beauty queens dressed in red or blue and wearing beautiful tiaras.
I leaned into Aaron and whispered, "I told you I should've worn my tiara!" The ladies were there because March 28th, 2011 was to be declared Miss Texas Day. I don't know why. Just to explain a few things, because I don't want people getting irrate about the frivolity of the Senate when our state is in dire need of some real corrections being made.
For reasons I do not know or understand, by law, the State Senate does nothing but these resolutions and declarations for the first 60 days that they are in session. Once that time is up they will get down to the nitty gritty and hopefully respond to my many letters regarding our educators being laid off left and right. (Havc you contacted your representative about this?) So please don't be dismayed about the beauty queens and cupcakes. This is all they do for 60 days. By law. These resolutions and declarations will also not cost you anything. They are just read.
After roll call a bishop prayed for Texas and over the meeting and then the session was called to open. (Or something.) I forgot who the first group was that was brought to the floor but a Senator stood and made a declaration and commended the group. He then gestured to the gallery where we were sitting and asked that those in the gallery please stand to be recognized. Nearly everyone in our section rose, including our little group. We all quickly realized though that he meant, those in the gallery that were related to the represented group on the floor to rise. We were not with that group! We cracked up and all sat down as quickly as we could.
Then it was the pageant queen's turn. Two queens were invited to the floor to represent. A Senator declared the day Miss Texas Day and they then asked the other pageant queens to rise and be recognized. I leaned into to Tiffany, Sissy, Les, and Mom and tried to get them to stand up with me again. "We are beauty queens too!" They held me down in my seat...
Finally it was time for the Cupcake Boys! The boys were escorted out on to the floor along with Lisa Britton, the maker of the Berry Pecan Cupcake. The boys solemnly stood there in their suits. As the resolution was read, Drew began to wave to the Senators and then to those in the gallery. He turned from left to right to be sure and acknowledge all. Everytime the moderator (or whatever...) said Gabriel and Drew, Gabriel would point to himself and then Drew respectively. They smiled and waved as they were then praised by the Senator for all of their hardwork and interest in their state. Then Senator Shapiro (Dallas Rep.) stood and also praised the boys and Lisa. You will have to visit the link to hear the amazing things that were said about them. So sweet! I do recall that the Senator said they were "bright and fun-loving boys." After the accolades were over the Lt. Governor restated the resolution, asked for objections, (which there were none) and hammered his gavel down with finality saying "Done!"
Many of the Senators rose and moved to the front to shake hands with the boys and congratulate them. Several asked for pics. All who posed with the boys were Bunny Eared. The gallery was a-titter with laughter!
"I reminded them to mind their P's and Q's," mom said. "I did not think to tell them not to put Bunny Ears on the Senators!"
One smart (and sort of a fuddy-duddy of a beurocrat) wrapped his arms around the boys in such a way that they would not be able to Bunny Ear him. Boo! Lame-o! After the Senators were through congratulating them the boys turned to each other and gave one another a huge hug! "Awww" went the gallery and a few applauded.
After we all stopped laughing and crying, our group gathered our things and went to pick up the boys at the Senators office. I was so proud of them! They did a great job! Once we were all down in the Rotundra again, we were all slapping their backs and telling them how proud we were of them.
"Mom," Gabriel said, "I don't know why everyone was honoring us when you were the one who really did all of the work." Such a heart that boy! He's so thoughtful. I did not miss all of the comments made by the Senators of the boys "hard work" but the work was never done for a cupcake. It was always for them. It was so freakin' worth it!
P.S. Please excuse misspelled words, gramatical errors and incorrectly used vocabulary. I am not at home with my dictionary and thesaurus. For some reason the computer I am using does not have spell check working either....very odd. :/ Go here to view the video: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/avarchive/?yr=2011