Our friends, Joyce & Tim, invited us to the Baltimore Blast soccer game on Saturday night. Forget the fact that I didn't even know Baltimore had a soccer team or that they were in a championship. The tickets were free, and it'd been a long time since I'd been to a public event like that. I wasn't sure about bringing the kids. I mean the game started at their bedtime, but Neil thought it'd be fine, so I went along. Of course in the back of my head, I'm thinking, "if they act up, it is so on you," but I kept my attitude to myself.
Man I'm not one to always admit when I'm wrong, but this time I have no problem. All three of our kids were awesome, and I know Joyce and Tim will vouch for that. You should have heard Owen. The entire way to the game at the 1st Mariner Arena (so thought it was going to be outside), he's talking about how he's going to "play soccer and Mommy & Daddy, & Blake, & Madison, & Mrs. Joyce & Mr. Tim are gonna watch me." "Mommy, where's the soccer game? Are we at the soccer game?" If it wasn't so darn cute, I would have lost my mind listening to it.
We must have arrived about the same time as every other soccer fan in the city, but that's okay because it was easy to figure out where we were going? Owen's eyes were wide open as he gazed in awe at the large buildings and bright lights. The child looked like he was in a candy store and everything was free. Inside the arena, we climbed to the nosebleed seats while Owen just kept saying, "mommy, where is the soccer ball? When do I get to play? Is it in there?" but he was patient (as a 3 year old can be).
For the first 30 minutes, while they were doing team introductions and the normal nuances for a pre-game program, Owen sat in his seat, bam bams in hand, in a complete over stimulation coma. "Mommy, where's the ball? Where's the game?" Then the game started. Owen followed the ball up and down the field, and sometimes into the stands, as I attempted to explain what the heck what going on. Slowly Owen crawled out of his shell. He began to bang his bam bams together, and say with Mommy "go Blast." By half time the child was full into the game like he'd been a dedicated fan since birth. Of course at this point his questions were "Mommy, is the game over now?" He didn't understand why they kept taking breaks. I'm with him on that one. Just play the game.
Blake literally sat in Daddy's lap and stared into space for the first hour. I thought he'd just fall asleep. After all, it was his bedtime. During half time, probably while the cheerleaders were dancing, Blake sprang to life. He paced up and down the aisle beating his bam bams as best he could, pointing and shouting "ball, ball." Now Blake has no idea what soccer is or what in the world these men were doing on that field, but he recognized the ball, and that was all that mattered.
Madison just chilled with Joyce the entire time, probably enjoying the stupidity of grown men running after a ball. We had a great time and I'm so glad we decided to go despite my poor attitude. Just goes to show you that your children can always surprise you.
At the end of the game, Owen looks at me in all seriousness and says, "Mommy, I want these guys to come play soccer with me." Priceless, simply priceless. The Baltimore Blast won the game and the championship! Yay, Go Blast!