I think it is important for every dad to have a “thing” with his son. You know, a “thing”. A weekly golf outing, a favorite TV show, something. For me and my son, who turned 4 today, it was Charlotte Hornets games. We went to our last two games last week before he and Christy leave Charlotte for good tomorrow (I’m following soon.) LA Clippers last Tuesday and Chicago Bulls last Saturday. And please, let me tell you about last Saturday.
We had company in town, and the day was jam packed. Volleyball games, swim lessons, lunch, a play, packing, naps, etc. I asked Banks earlier that morning if he wanted to go to the game, and per usual, the answer changed about 11 times throughout the day. Then, about 6:25pm, he said he definitely wanted to go. Mind you, tipoff was at 7pm. Indecision, nay, spontaneity at its best.
How StubHub can still require paper tickets in 2019 is beyond me, but here is basically what the next hour looked like. Order tickets, drive to office to print them, printer and laptop required a Saturday night update, Banks needed to go to the bathroom, finally got printer working, printed tickets, walked to game, sat down in seats, Banks immediately went to sleep.(If you really know me, can you see my reaction to all of this?)
Well good. That was $70 and a little bit of madness well spent. Glad the young boy had a first class seat to take a nice, cozy nap. It took me a second, but I finally said to myself, you know what, this is what life is about. Relax and enjoy the night.
He took about an hour and a half nap, half in his seat and half in my arms. I loved it, myself dozing in and out of consciousness to the game and thinking about how much I was going to miss this. If you know anything about the NBA, you know I could have napped during the first 3 quarters too and not missed a thing. But the 4th quarter is a different story.
Banks woke up, raring to go, hyped, needing a drink, and ready to cheer for the Hornets. The packed arena livened up, and our man Kemba Walker (Banks’ “boy”) pulled the team through to a nice Saturday night W. I had purposefully splurged on these tickets, knowing this wouldn’t happen again for a long time. And after all that riff raff earlier, it became so worth it. After the game, we were able to shimmy down a few rows to the Hornets tunnel and watch the players walk by as they left the floor. I held Banks in my arms, pointed at Kemba, and told him to look.
Some 10 feet away was All-Star Kemba Walker, and as Banks realized that, he turned to me with magic in his eyes. I will never forget that. He got giddy, waved, and told him good game, and then we talked about it the entire way home.
I welled up a little as I wrote this. It was our thing for about a year, and it is no more. But on the other hand, there is lots of adventure ahead, and we are sure to find our new thing.
He spent exactly 4 years in Charlotte, he had a great birthday, and he leaves with mom tomorrow.
But good news. Once I arrive in about 45 days, Hornets at Pelicans on April 3. Won’t quite be the same, but that’s exactly the point.
Have a great week.-Benj
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