Monday, December 28, 2009

An Amazing Evening

I was sitting on the couch with my daughter in late October. It was one of those Saturday afternoons where little was going on in the world but college football. We sat quietly together observing all the sights and sounds of the college football experience. I wondered if Madison had ever been to any event remotely close to the live college football experience.

I made a decision that I would make sure that she got to every major sporting venue before her eighteenth birthday. Then I popped the question. "Madison would you like to go to a game like that?" "Sure!" - there was no hesitation. I quickly chimed in, " I would like to take you to all of the major sport venues before you get out of high school. We could go to a hockey game first. "

The normal protocol, arrangements, maps, times and dates. I was so excited to share this experience with my daughter. Last week I was walking through the mall when out of nowhere a St Louis Blues' jersey in the front window of Hibbett sports jumped out at me. I had to stop. It was on sale and just the right size for Madison. Yip, you guessed it.... bought and paid for and ready to be worn on our special night.

Sunday afternoon we packed into the car and off we went - father and daughter to her first professional sporting event. It was kinda quiet on the way down. Just sporadic conversation about varying subjects. As we got closer though, the anticipation began. I told her to be looking for restaurants that we might want to eat at afterwards. The traffic got heavier and the city skyline appeared. Madison took it all in. Questions started to come at a rapid pace. St Louis Blues' fans were all streaming to the stadium.

We arrived early, getting fantastic parking that allowed us a fifty step walk into the Scottrade Center. (no was crazy good) We hustled right in. It was free hat night. Madison thought that was pretty cool and the hat would go well with her jersey. She wanted to find her seat immediately. So off to the seats we went. I loved to give her this experience. She asked me if they were our seats for the whole time. I assured her that they were ours.

At that time we went shopping for "create-a-fry", a mix of bacon, cheese and chili on french fries. We found them and boy did she love them. The pregame started and all the music, lights and fans were in full bloom. Madison was taking it all in. I LOVED watching her observe everything. The game was exciting, back and forth scoring, fights, and the beer man.

St Louis struggled at the end, giving up two late goals in the third period. The game came to an end and we were on the losing end of our first professional hockey game. Madison chose Olive Garden as the place to eat afterward. She began to talk about lots of things on the ride to the restaurant and at the table. We enjoyed the conversation, the appetizer, meal and dessert together.

The night ended with her balled up in the front seat, sleeping away, all the way back to Quincy. Our next professional sport will be baseball this summer, watching the St. Louis Cardinals.