March 7, 2022

cue Huey Lewis: BACK IN TIME, back to my birthday

(Picking up where we left off on our quest to return stuff at the mall - next stop REI):  Coach and I wrapped up a backpack of Coach's for Christmas and gave it to Ed. Translation:  go pick out a backpack to use on your abroad adventure, on us.

He had a recommendation from Ryland's sister. I flagged down an employee at REI and he answered Ed's questions, and fit him with the desired bag. The line was crazy long, so I added the backpack to my online cart and away we went. Sort of . . . 

The REI employee was an older, very knowledgeable gentleman. Understatement. He was incredibly thorough. We had a hard time walking away despite our need to get to Reg's basketball game. This guy was a hoot, and we loved him. He closed his eyes when he spoke, took long pauses, and offered to answer any questions from Ed's oversized fan club/shopping buddies. At one point, he conducted a practice round of what a hostel employee might ask Ed at check in. "Do you need to rent sheets? Do you need to rent a towel? Do you need to use laundry facilities? See, this is how they can charge you extra. I recommend the sleep sack. Most kids traveling abroad get one." * I added it to my cart. 

I wanted to take this guy home with us in case we had any other questions about life in general, because I'm pretty sure he'd be able to answer those too. When we finally walked to the car, Tank said:  THERE'S NO WAY THAT GUY WASN'T AN EAGLE SCOUT. 

We arrived at Reg's game a few minutes late,  (I drafted this earlier in the season, but other stuff kept cropping up in the busy times of chez shenanigan. . . so mind you, this is a LOOK BACK) which had Curly, Reg's biggest fan, in a small tizzy. Oh man, this game. We were down by over 10 points. 

Reg played games each day that week. The Thursday game, on my b-day, was the last one. We'd lost every game. A couple of teams dropped out due to covid, and on Wednesday we ended up playing a team that we had no business playing - out of our league. Against them, Reg tried a few shots and they just weren't landing. Every time he missed a shot, and by missed I mean that it looked good- not an air ball, the coach yanked him from the game. And we're talking like 4 missed shots, not 15. He made some hoops too. 

Not my birthday cake, but this was
 Reg's cake. Can't remember if I
 shared it. The girls decorated it. He
 had covid Jan 9th but we sang
 to him from across the room. 

Why are some people dumb? So frustrating. Remember too, Reggie is young to be playing varsity. He doesn't have the experience an older, more seasoned player has. 

Happily, a senior 'Duffy', who was out with a broken finger at the start of the season, gave Reg some good advice early on. During the game when Reg scored 22 points, Duffy approached him during a time out PRIOR to his huge scoring streak. 


How nice is that? Encouragement from an older teammate means so much. 

So . . . on my birthday we were down the entire game, by over 10 points. In the 4th quarter, we came alive. Duffy hit a 3. Reg hit a 3. Duffy hit another 3. 

All Reg's games had been early in the day in the tournie, till that last game, so Coach made dinner reservations without realizing that we'd have to leave Reg's game early. Coach gave me the 'let's go' sign and I insisted we stay a few minutes longer. When we finally left, I told Tank and Ed to text us. It was hard to leave an exciting game, but Tank delivered with his play by plays. 

My phone exploded. I was calling out who scored every few seconds. Right in the middle of these updates, Pat and each of his children texted me birthday wishes from Disney World. It was comical. I was trying to read the score from Tank and a message with a million cake and balloon emojis would pop up from Pat & his people. "Two minutes left, we're up by (insert birthday emojis here) - wait, balloons, ack, stop it . . . wait, another text from Tank. AHHH!  WE WON! WE WON!" 

So very happy to see Reg break out of his afraid-to-shoot mode and his teammates stepped up too. So exciting. 

This was my family dinner a few days after my
 birthday. Note, Reg and Tank are wearing matching
 fluffy pullovers. Tank was very excited about
 opening this on Christmas until Reg AND Coach
 opened the same thing. When they were marked
 down even more, I bought one for Lad. I know
 he had a navy one like this in college, but he
 doesn't anymore. Ed said he didn't need one.
This has replaced Reg's Cobra Kai
 sweatshirt as his new daily uniform. 
Dinner was nice, but I've told Coach that since the kids are no longer guaranteed to spill at least 2 drinks during a meal, and they don't spit food back on their plates anymore, and they manage not to need to use the bathroom as soon as our food arrives, I think they can be included in my eating-out-birthday dinners. What do ya know, we've gone and grown us kids who can be part of polite society? It took some convincing, but we ate dinner out Sunday night as a family to re-celebrate my birthday. 

It was a less pricey place, Chilis, but still tasty. 

After dinner, we watched some Jim Gaffigan, the comedian, with the kids. They were hollering at me because I was falling asleep on the couch. HEY, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DRINK A GLASS OF WINE WITH DINNER, NOT LIKE I HAVEN'T WARNED YOU.


Nicole MacPherson said...

I also often fall asleep on the couch when we watch something, wine or no.

"There's no way that guy wasn't an Eagle Scout" - hahahaha!!! It would be nice to have a guy like that in our lives, wouldn't it? Anything we need to know, we could ask.

Beth Cotell said...

I too fall asleep on the couch depending on what we are watching and whether or not I've had an adult beverage. I guess we are getting old!!!

Ernie said...

Nicole- My kids start picking on me if we start a movie, 'DON'T LAY DOWN, THERE SHE GOES. YOU'RE CLOSING YOUR EYES. ARE YOU AWAKE?' We watched a few movies this weekend that I didn't care that much about and I slept over an hour on the couch before going to bed - then I was awake enough to read more. It wasn't really a bad arrangement. Coach was away for the weekend at a retreat, so the movies were geared more to the kids' taste.

Yes, this man - if he lived here and didn't know an answer, I think he would dig one up in a heartbeat.

Ernie said...

Beth - Even when I REALLY like the movie, if I'm tired or more tired than I realize, I'm out. I napped yesterday for 15 minutes, so I was able to stay awake to watch King Richard. Plus we started it early enough. I'm back to requiring a nap today. Finnegan was up CRAZY early and Lad conveniently didn't hear him. Grrr.

Kara said...

I'm weird, I can't fall asleep on the couch. I can't sleep with a TV on in my room either.

My kids can be civilized, and we do take them out occasionally. Sometimes it's better than others. We went out for dumplings and dim sum, and it was great. We went out for chicken and waffles and it took too long, so everyone was hangry and crabby.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Laughing at the Eagle Scout reference; the guy knows his shit. Right?

The basketball game sounds more than exciting so it's so awesome that Reg didn't lose his confidence and they pulled it off at the end.

I'm glad you were celebrated on your birthday. And then more. YAY for having bonafide grown-up kiddos.

Kari said...

Alcohol always makes me fall asleep too. At least you got to go to dinner at your birthday! That's always fun. :)

Pat Birnie said...

Love the Eagle Scout reference. If he is backpacking then a sleep sack is great as a protection against bedbugs. I would spring for a silk one as it’s lightweight. You can also buy microfibre towels that dry almost instantly- it’s kind of magical. My husband & I backpacked across Spain 10 years ago. We made the mistake of buying cotton sleep sacks as they were less expensive but we’re much heavier. We only used them twice in the 23 days. We had a ceremony at the end of the Camino where we burned those f’ers.

It was super of them to win the game for you on your birthday! Isn’t it wonderful when your kids become almost civilized adults!?

Ally Bean said...

Isn't the point of drinking a glass of wine to relax? And isn't falling asleep on the sofa a form of relaxation? THEREFORE, you did exactly what you were supposed to do. See what I did there? I can spin anything positive.

Suzanne said...

Well, I adore both Chili's and Jim Gaffigan (and wine, for that matter) so it sounds like a lovely birthday indeed!

Ernie said...

Kara - It sounds like you, my friend, have a super power. Tell me how you manage that, so I can get my kids off my back.

We have been to dinners where I behave grumpy or pouty, because of a lack of GF options. We try really hard to research places before we eat out.

Ernie said...

Suz - I sometimes feel bad that by kids didn't do boy scouts. I couldn't figure out how to do after school stuff when I had napping babies. At least my kids appreciate the knowledge of an Eagle Scout.

That was a weird stretch where the coach was yanking kids when they messed up, when it wasn't really a mess up. Fortunately, Reg's game overcame that pitfall and his covid bout when he missed a few weeks of basketball and then had to earn back his starting position.

My people have heard the stories of my glossed over birthday since it landed after Christmas. They wouldn't dare. I did feel celebrated, and after one glass of wine - slightly tipsy. Yes, I am a cheap date.

Ernie said...

Kari - I know I am not alone here. This is part of the reason I don't drink often. I have places to be and I can't be (more) sleepy than normal. I love my steak place on my b-day, and going out to eat twice in a week to celebrate the same thing (me!), unprecedented.

Ernie said...

Pat - This guy was the bomb. He knew his stuff. I think Ed did get a silk one. He tells me that he uses it a lot. I laughed at the bonfire for the f'ers. 23 days . . . that sounds amazing. We ARE going to Budapest (just Coach and I) and I'm nervous about what GF food I will find.

It was nice of them to win that game for me. I appreciate your use of the word 'almost' when referring to my grown up kids.

Ernie said...

Ally - Well done. Yes, you did turn that around quite nicely. My kids sometimes urge me to have a drink, in other words 'chill out' - but careful what you wish for, because I will fall asleep. That's a promise.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- That is a fairly comprehensive list of wonderful things, so it was a good birthday.

Colleen said...

I love that you sneakily got TWO birthday dinners - my hero :)

Ernie said...

Colleen - I sure did, didn't I. Ha.

Jeannie Bruce said...

2 Birthday dinners, lucky you! I get that as well normally. My birthday is May 3rd and our son is May 2 (and with mothers day and our anniversary on the 10th of May its a very expensive week lol)

Ernie said...

Jeannie - May is busy for you guys. Hooray for lots of eating out and being pampered.