Every parenting publication, this one included, will eventually lament about the importance of one-on-one time with their kids. We all agree the time to focus on one stream of wondrous thought or action at a time allows a different perspective from both sides of the equation.
Sometimes this means a 20 minute walk up to the coffee shop for a quick caffeine hit and listening to your child talk about the wonder of Pokemon or how slippery chewing gum is when rolled into the palm of their stinky little hands. Other times are more earnest, about confused feelings on why classmates can like and hate them at the exact time. With these private moments, we allow ourselves more time to respond, whether it's the exaggerated glee behind the chewing gum experiment or the heartfelt response to the playground politics that can border on cruel and unusual punishment.
And other times, you are presented with an opportunity to spend an entire afternoon with one of your kids, ride a plush bus down to BMO field with 14 other four or five year olds to play soccer at halftime of a TFC game! This is what Tasman and I got to do on Saturday! Is that awesome or what! I know! Too many exclamation points!
Anyway, as a coach I was afforded this opportunity to take Tasman to the game. At first he was pretty blase about the whole thing. This quickly evolved into reluctancy and morphed into full blown 'I don't wanna go' mere hours before departure time. It was the ride on the bus that sold it and once surrounded by the other kids, including a wee little Sara that Tasman was smitten with, things went pretty amazing for the rest of the afternoon.
We sat in a special section, the sun was shining, I had a beer the size of my head (thank you bus ride) and at halftime, the little buggers were shuffled down to the bowels of the stadium (parents in tow) to change into their halftime uniforms.
They got lockers and after a quick bathroom break were led to field level to play a 10 minute scrimmage in front of 21,000 people.
While looking very Shrek-like beside the other four and five year olds, Tasman did so great, rolling with all the separation moments like a true champ. As long as he could see me and my mile-wide goofball smile giving him the thumbs up, he was fine just reveling in the moment, knowing this was not an ordinary Saturday afternoon.
I, of course, was simply bursting. While it might have been the head-sized beers, I was pretty emotional about the whole thing. It was a super day that I know will fade in importance with Tasman as he add pages to his life book, but it remains deeply etched in my growing library of parental memories.
I am a lucky lucky man.