Friday was a warm, sunny day here in Pennsylvania — the perfect day to play hooky. Being the super awesome mom that I am (read sarcastically), I surprised my younger son with a day off from school and took him and a buddy to the NFL Draft Experience in Philadelphia as an early birthday present. My soon-to-be-11-year-old is a football fanatic, so this was a dream come true for him. Was I the coolest mom, or what? Yeah, I was … until I wasn’t.
If you know anything about me, you know this type of event is not my thing. Far from it. Here are just a few reasons why:
- I like my routine (morning workout, breakfast, errands, shower, lunch, writing, etc.). This was not my routine.
- I am an introvert and need alone time each day to recharge. I did not get down time on Friday.
- I despise crowds and have a mild case of social anxiety. Reported crowd size: 100,000 people.
- I have too many food allergies to eat from a concession stand and outside food was prohibited. I subsisted on a bag of almonds I snuck in.
- I drink a ton of water and pee a lot. Port-a-potties are my nemesis (I peed down my leg twice trying to avoid touching the hole/seat).
- I get very swollen ankles when I stand for too long. Nearly 12 hours at the NFL Draft Experience = Fred Flinstone feet.
- I am childishly impatient. Every activity had a line and every line was l-o-n-g-g-g-g!
- I love the hot sun when I’m sitting on the beach. Philadelphia is not the beach.
- I would do anything to make my kids happy. Case in point.
Needless to say, this was not my ideal way to spend a Friday playing hooky. I’d rather be relaxing at a spa or sitting on the beach, reading a book. But this wasn’t about me. It was about my child. Yes, I did have one or two (or maybe even three) meltdowns along the way, but I sucked it up and stuck it out for his sake because that’s what parents do; We make sacrifices for our kids, big and small. We do things we may not want to do to make them happy. Seeing my son’s face after completing the mock combine drills, hearing him talk about meeting Le’Veon Bell and watching him cheer as they called the next draft pick was pure happiness. And that was what this day was all about. So while I’d rather stick needles in my eyes than do it again, I’m glad I was able to give him an experience he’ll brag about for days and cherish for years — even if I did bitch a few times along the way.
Today is my son’s actual birthday, so I’m letting him skip school again. This time, he wants to go to the movies and out for lunch. Now that’s more my speed.
Happy 11th birthday, O!