The title of this post could easily have been “The Polar Express!” or “Great Family Fun on a Train” but there was a battle raging in my mind last Thursday that made our family fun night less than I wanted it to be. Of course, I wanted to be there with my family, but due to a slight scheduling error the game I’ve been waiting for since ‘the decision’ by LeBron James, the Cavs vs. the Heat, was on the same night my family had scheduled to go on the Polar Express with my dad, brother, sister in law and their kids…
It may seem like such a small thing to sacrifice, but to me it was big. I shared this with a few guys at work. One guy told me to just say, “I’m not going” but I didn’t think that would sit well with my wife (plus I really did want to go with my family, too) I liked what another co-worker suggested; that I spice up the night on the train by looking at my phone and giving out fake updates to all the other dads there! “Oh, somebody just punched LeBron! No wait! The crowd is rushing the floor!” But I didn’t want to get arrested for starting a riot on a children’s ride.
Another sensibly offered that the game doesn’t start until 8, which means tip off wouldn’t be until 8:15, and there would probably be a lot of commercials and they would really drag this one out since it has been hyped so much. If it takes me twenty minutes to get home I might make it for the second half.
So we went and all had a good time. But once the clock struck 8:00 there was this nagging thought in the back of my mind about what I was missing. And the longer the night went, the more and more I thought about all the excitement happening back at the game.
On the way to the North Pole the conductor’s voice came over the speakers. “Reindeer” he said “have blocked the track” and we waited an extra half hour. Just my luck, I thought. I struggled even more with a good attitude.
But when we all piled out of the car that night, and I rushed to turn the game on even before changing an overdue diaper, I realized that what I had really been missing wasn’t the game of the century (the Cavs lost by 30 points!) but I had missed a great moment with my kids because my mind was wandering somewhere else. Truth be told, we still had a great time, and I (really) enjoyed the ride. But I’m left to wonder if it could have been better if my mind was really 100% there with my family and not 90% there, you know?
Here’s some of the fun we did have
Golden tickets, Christmas lights, hot chocolate, popcorn, cookies, singing Christmas carols, dancing in the aisle, story time, seeing the North Pole village, meeting Santa, getting a jingle bell from his sleigh, meeting the elves, and just having a grand ole time!
Never again do I want to miss out on the real “Big Game”