So the boy won tickets to the Chicago Wolves hockey team game this past Saturday for raising the most money in his elementary school
for Jump Rope for Heart. We were stoked because we’d been wanting to take the kids to a hockey game for a while.
So Saturday comes and we’re on our way…the wife, daughter, boy and me. We grab a bite to eat, hit the arena, find our seats, and the kids are pumped! The wife hooks them up with a bag of cotton candy while I go and wrestle-us down a couple of beers.
Then, the lights drop down, the spot-lights roam around the ice, the announcer and his douchey announcer voice blast over the speakers and then…the fireworks begin.
During this extremely rookie introduction I look over and my daughter is literally shaking, crying and sitting in my wife’s lap trying her best to climb inside her coat pocket.
I look at the boy and he’s in a crouched position on his chair, wide-eyed, hands in his mouth, and it’s like I can watch the fear slowly grab him by the balls.
When it’s all done I turn trying to act all cool and I say, “that was awesome huh?!”
“Daddy, I have to poop.”
“What?! You…all right…let’s do this.”
So I take the boy to poop in the piss-covered public restroom--every dad’s worst nightmare. Standing in a men’s room, during a manly-man hockey game, leaned-up against a stall door, I try not to make eye-contact with the legions of dudes standing in line drinking beer, spitting, cussing, and waiting their turn at the urinal.
So I stand there, on my Blackberry, staring at the back of the stall door and listening to my boy squat a grumpy like a champ.
Ten minutes later we’re on our way back to our seats. Fifteen minutes later the Wolves score and what happens?! Yeah, fireworks go off. I immediately look at the boy and he’s in his crouching tiger position again. Literally five minutes later they score again…more fireworks. And the boy…all I smell is poop and see the look of fear on his face.
“Dude, you OK?”
“Daddy, my tummy hurts. Are there going to be anymore fireworks?”
“You dropped a third leg in the toilet less than a half-hour ago. You feeling OK chief?”
“I don’t like the fireworks daddy.”
At the end of the night, we drove home, boy crying his head off…”daddy, I was so excited when I won this prize because I knew you’d love to go see a live hockey game and I wanted to see it with you. I’m so sorry daddy!!” My heart broke for the little guy and I immediately felt the weight of the world on me.
I love this little bastard. He’s such a damn good kid. I won’t lie, the weight I bear from his idolization is unmerciful at times. It bites me in the ass when I least expect it and forces me to remember I’m his father and not his best friend. But I won’t lie, it’s every father’s dream.
So, for now, I just continually tell myself the same five words which the talented and skilled Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny made so famous, “just don’t fuck it up!”