We pulled up to the pepto-pink-colored two-bedroom condo that serves as campaign headquarters and sleeping space for Tom and the staff. Not an inch of the small place goes without use. It had been a long drive. The kids worked to unbury themselves from the rubble they had created around them. Liam cracked open the door for extra wiggle room and Tom flung himself in with a loud roar. Liam’s screech of panic was followed by a giant leap up to Tom’s arms where he hung for at least 2 full minutes. Aidan and I had to pry him off so we could get a little lovin’ too. Tom looked at our motley crew like we were a holiday parade of lights and wonder. It was nice to be together. We were allowed 5 minutes of pleasantries before his debate coaches insisted on his return to the mock podiums set up in the living room. From the second floor I could hear the Crapo impersonator grilling Tom and his convictions. I thought “holy smokes, that’s scary, you’re not very nice….who is that guy…?” The debate was only one day away and the air was thick. We understood and gave him space. After hours of mock debate, Liam told Tom “Dad, you know how if you water your lawn too much it floods and your grass dies, but if you give it some time to soak in and then water it some more, it gets really green…” Tom got it. He took up residence on the living room futon, Aidan and Liam snuggled around him in their Tom Sullivan for Senate T-shirts, and I smiled. The distance is hard – no two ways about it.
Tom’s first debate… the practice paid off, and the grass was green. By next week it will be lush.
Wednesday’s top priority for me was to get ready for Thursday. The next FingerSmear panels for Touching Time needed to be designed, unloaded, sketched, and reloaded for Thursday’s early morning departure for Coeur D’Alene. It was not until 3pm that most of the staff cleared out for off-site meetings, and we were left with a moment to focus on it. I calculated what I needed to get done, and my head hurt from the pressure of it. Ginny helped move things it forward and by 6 PM we were on the patio sketching images relative to jobs and the environment. By 8 we were drinking wine and eating chili. The house was quite, and we were ready.
We’re about 30 minutes from CDA now. The beautiful 8-hour drive is almost over. We’re excited to do our part for a man we already know is a great leader – and dad, and husband, and friend!