Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Hockey Birthday

Birthdays for our kids are always a stressful affair for me, and not because there is so much to logistically address. My big source of stress is really wanting, more than anything, for the kids to have fun and be happy. In other words, it’s really important that they have a nice birthday.

This does not always mean that we have to throw a huge party, and if anything, that is not always so fun, at least for me. Parties are way too stressful, but if they really wanted one, and I was unable to completely dissuade them, then sure, we’d have a party. Fortunately, it hasn’t come to that, yet.

This past weekend was N’s big day, and in lieu of any parties, we wanted to do things that he wanted to do. Of course, there were cool presents involved, as well. The weather was poor, so we couldn’t do one of his first choices, which was golf. There were several hockey games over at Dartmouth, and he had hockey practice, as did his sister. He wanted to catch all three games.

The day of his birthday was the first official practice, and it unfortunately conflicted with the first preseason Dartmouth women’s hockey game against McGill. We had to make some choices, and his first thought was to skip his own practice, go to dinner, and then to the Dartmouth game. R and I were a little reluctant because the first practice for his team seemed like a big deal, and the coach, DF, is pretty serious about his hockey. Plus, there was a mandatory team/parent meeting afterward, and A wanted to go to her practice, but agreed to go along with whatever N wanted, albeit begrudgingly.

We talked it over with N and came up with a compromise. Since there were three Dartmouth games this weekend, we could miss one and maybe be late to another. We felt it important for him to show up for his practice, so we hatched a plan. We would go to his practice and then get to the game late, but would bring cupcakes to celebrate his birthday at the practice with his teammates. This also required making cupcakes for all of A’s team, since they would be on the ice at the same time.

In the AM, he got to open some of his presents and we had a special birthday breakfast of pancakes that R made. While everyone was eating, we also made cupcakes for the team. Since one of his teammates has a gluten allergy, we made gluten free cupcakes with a mix from King Arthur, and for the record, they were better than regular cupcakes. I mean that.

For lunch, we headed over to Stella’s and had the usual killer meal, we love that place. Then, we went over to his practice, where he was on the ice at the same time as A. It was nice, the kids really love hockey, and I helped out on with the coaching even though I have no clue what I’m doing. After practice, we gave out cupcakes to N’s team and A’s team, and we had the big team meeting.

Now I figured it would take 5-10 minutes and then we’d be on our way, missing at most the first 10 minutes of the first period, but the meeting went for about 45 minutes. Afterward, I was thinking it was not worth going to the game, but we promised N that’s what we would do, so we had to follow through. The whole time we were driving to the arena, I kept thinking, this is silly, it’s too late. I was ready to just go home.

Anyway, after I whined quietly to myself for a moment, we continued on and finally arrived at the women’s game. We missed about half the game, but in the end, it was fun watching them, and I’m glad we went. I’m still in awe of the women’s hockey team, they are so incredible. We were planning on getting a hot dog for supper, but the concessions were closed. Bummer.

The game ended around 9:00, and I was starving. We jetted over to Boloco and got burritos, wolfed them down, and went to bed. I think it was a nice birthday for N because he got to do a lot of the things he wanted, and he got to celebrate with his teammates.

On Saturday we had his birthday dinner after, you guessed it, hockey practice. There was a Dartmouth men’s hockey game that afternoon, but we couldn’t pull that one off. We had a great supper at Jesse’s, N got his favorite, sirloin steak, which was amazing. I had a bite. He also got a free desert and they sang to him, which always kind of fun. He’s really cute because people dote on him and he’s very composed about it all.

I forgot to mention, we also got him a birthday cake from Lou’s, and I have to confess, it was pretty average. I expected more from them, but live and learn. More on this later.

There is one last Dartmouth hockey game that we can make it to, and I’m thinking we’ll go for it.

Until then, thanks for reading.

No comments: