My favorite time of the year is here--no, not autumn--I'm talking about basketball season! GMU played it's one exhibition game of the season last night, a 100-82 victory over Virginia State.
It was guys' night at the Patriot Center as I took my boys with me. I didn't know how they would do--as they have grown older their attention spans seem to shorten. But it was a truly fantastic evening.
I got the boys excited early, telling them in the morning where we were going, and helping them practice their "Go Mason!" yells throughout the day. C woke up from his afternoon nap shouting, "I'm ready to go to the basketball game!
The ride up was fun, talking about the upcoming game, singing and laughing. At one point B started praying (he has been praying with me at the table lately), saying, "Dear God, thank you for our food." C melted my heart by saying, "God, thank you for Daddy!"
We got to the arena, picked up tickets that Ken and Andy left for us at will call, and headed for the Patriot Club (where people who donate a lot of money get "free" food and beer). Kenny gave me a pass, which I handed to the portly usher at the entrance. He looked at the double stroller and said, "You gotta have three tickets."
I smiled and said, "Come one, they're toddlers, they're not gonna drink any beer!" He waved me through. Kenny got us some pizza and drinks and we began the celebration. The guys were amazed at how the boys have grown.
We finished dinner and headed to the seats. I handed C to Kenny and climbed to our seats with Brady. I reached out to take C back, but he had planted himself on Kenny's lap, and stayed there for much of the first half. He later sat with Johnny for a while--I love how he enjoys being with all the guys.
B wanted to sit in his own seat--it was funny because he wasn't heavy enough to keep the seat from folding up on him. At halftime we walked around the concourse--C rode on my shoulders while B held hands with Kenny and Johnny as they ran and picked him up to fly through the air. He was loving it.
The boys made it through the whole game--cheering often, clapping when the band played, being thrilled by the small blimp that flies through the arena. They switched places in the second half; B sitting with Kenny and C in his own seat. When they got restless late in the game, lollipops helped them get through to the end.
It was so fun watching my friends laughing and playing with my boys, and seeing how much the boys loved the guys. B loves Andy, who always makes him laugh. Johnny was great chasing the boys in and out of a curtained off area, then being told not to go back there (I think by the same usher who let me in the Patriot Club).
But the highlight for me was a moment when I looked over at C sitting on Kenny's lap, and watched C touching and fiddling with Kenny's fingers as they both watched the action on the court. One of those real "Life is good" moments. Thanks guys.
(this is reprinted from our family blog--which is available by invitation only. let me know if you'd like an invite.)