“Is that a leeeeeemo?”
First words I heard last Saturday morning as my 9 year old football fan stood patiently by the front door at a ridiculously early-for-a-weekend hour.
His smile stretched wide as he peered over his shoulder at me hopping on one foot trying to buckle my shoe and screaming something about why come I couldn’t find my BAG.
I paused to appreciate his excitement.
It was not a leeeeeemo, but it was close enough because it was black, and shiny, and stocked with water and snacks and candy and G-U-M, and manned by the awesomest chauffeur (shout out to my boy Syed Dan who owns US Limousine and Sedan but came to us by way of Blacklane) a 9 year old dude could ever hope to have for a day. He sort of has a thing for chauffeurs, and butlers, and the people who bring you room service at the hotel.
The relaxing ride to the BWI Amtrak station was just step one in a whirlwind, exciting day for the two of us.
We were heading to the NFL draft (so mommy could sit on a Heads Up Football panel and Dude 2 could have his football-loving mind blown by the possibilities) in New York City for the day.
I specifically reserved this experience for #2. #3 went to Toronto with me last summer. And, Dude #1 got to go on a previous NFL and meet-Will-Smith-and-Jaden-Smith-at-a-movie-premiere excursion. So, it was his turn.
**Begin unsolicited advice***
I like to do Mom-Dude dates from time to time. Solo action with your kid allows them to have their she-loves-me tanks refilled in a way that lumping them together and screaming them into action just doesn’t. Plus you get to know them. The real them. Because you’re not as rushed, and you can listen, and they speak freely because they aren’t worried about their big brother calling them a dumb baby head the whole time.
If you have a bunch of little humans in your charge I urge you to make time for one-on-one kid time, away from the others, not daily (pshaw, ain’t nobody got time for that), but periodically.
**End unsolicited advice.**
So we spent the morning on the Amtrak (“They have food on here? And I can order it and eat whatever I want? Is there ice cream?!”)…
And we arrived in NYC where his suburban mind was instantly blown by all of the excitement (“So, I can just put my hand up and a taxi will come for us? And there are TVs on every corner. And it’s so noisy. And, New York sorta smells like poop, Mom.”)…
We made it to Radio City Music Hall in time to experience the excitement of the draft (“This is just like going to a game. When can we get a hot dog?”)…
And then, Dude #2 got to watch Mom sit on a panel, with former football players, while current football players (“Mom, are you sure these are high schoolers, because they’re like men sized?”) mostly ignored me because I am not as interesting as someone with a pro-football career under their belts asked us questions about football life. He snapped a series of really terrible photos of me and then played Flappy Bird before remembering to pay attention…
My brave dude did decide to take to the mic to ask the players on the panel a question (the only thing that matters when you’re nine: how old are you?).
Following, we got to enjoy a tour of the draft experience, from where the youngsters wait to hear the news of their fate, to the actual stage where acceptance speeches are made. He even got to walk out there, in front of the crowd like a real life draftee (“Just like Kaepernick, right, Mom?”)…
He wanted to contribute to this blog post by sharing his experience. It took him 15 minutes to type, “When I went to the NFL Draft…” So, we figured a video made more sense. If you’re not super busy a comment would be awesome, he’s going to read them all later, You know, for homework.
*We received a complimentary ride via Blacklane, a global limosine service provider. You can use their easy booking system to arrange for travel for your next adventure. If you live in the DC area, ask for Syed, he’s pretty awesome. All opinions are my own.