Culbreath: Road trip! Bluejackets and American GirlWritten by Matt 'Shaggy' Culbreath | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been explaining this for weeks, and no one believes me.
On the 13th of this month, my little girl turns 10 years old. Pretty big deal, right? Made it a decade without trading her in for a newer model. And while we normally have some pretty elaborate shindigs for her friends each year (if you listen closely, you can still hear people rave over the Teddy Bear Picnic of 2009), you’ve gotta go all out for number 10, yes?
So my wife comes up with a plan: ROAD TRIP! Goin’ to Columbus. We’ll take in a Blue Jackets game Friday night, and then going to the American Girl store the next morning.
Yet every time I talk about this trip, I get the same reaction. “Ahh, hockey game. Gotta get a little something in for Dad, eh?”
No, jerkwater. That’s not for Dad. I mean, I’m psyched to be going, sure, but it’s not for me.
Again, I didn’t plan this trip, my wife did. And she knows that the two things she would really love to do the most would be to go to a hockey game, and then look at dolls (even if they are ridiculously overpriced).
When we had our daughter some ten years ago, I was determined to make sure she was a well-rounded individual. That involved things like going to theater, watching sci-fi, eating at restaurants that are a bit above her, and watching old Looney Tunes cartoons. It also involved showing her a lot of sports. I’d be watching something for work, and she’d sit down and watch with me.
In 2007, we took her to her first hockey game. Nationwide Arena, the Columbus Blue Jackets hosting the Detroit Red Wings. Phenomenal game, went to the shootout, Jackets won. The cannon freaked her out a little bit, but not as freaked out as I was when she thought it would be a good idea to yell “GO BLUE!” in the middle of Buckeye Country. It was a good night.
We kept it going by taking her to Hens games. When the Huntington Center opened in 2009, we made sure to take her to Walleye games. She’s been to more than one Rockets game, both at the Glass Bowl and Savage Arena. We don’t go overboard, because I don’t want my kid to be the “throwing furniture if our team loses” person. But we enjoy what we can.
Now, in all honesty, she could just be amusing me. “Dad likes sports, and I like Dad. So I’ll watch with him.” I get that response sometimes from her, particularly if I’m watching some movie from my childhood. She seemed less than thrilled with Spaceballs. (However, she absolutely loved Who Framed Roger Rabbit?). Then again, I can’t imagine she’d be harassing me to get Walleye tickets twice a month if she didn’t enjoy it.
So, no, the hockey game isn’t for dad. Dad didn’t even plan it. The hockey game is for my 10 year old daughter, who happens to enjoy it. The fact that I get to go with her is a gift in it’s own right.