Monday, June 22, 2015

My Own Personal Super Bowl

     We kicked off our 2015 Disney World vacation by "righting a wrong" from last year.  I had not planned to do anything with my son on the football field at the All Star Sports resort during our trip in 2014, because we didn't even know it existed.  But had we been aware of it, my need for supplemental oxygen and use of a motorized scooter would have made it difficult to play with him on it.  After we arrived and saw how much he wanted to play with us on the field, we bought a football at the gift shop so I could at least throw a ball to him.  While it was nice to toss it to him as I stood next to my scooter, it was almost too tantalizing to a five year old who longed for me to be able to chase him as he spun and juked toward the end zone.  To make the most of a less than ideal situation, he and I made a routine of racing to the goal posts as we crossed the field to get from our room to the bus pick-up drop off area each morning.
     Upon our arrival to the hotel, my wife went to the room to receive the luggage delivery and set up a surprise for our son from "Mickey Mouse" in the room.  The football field was a natural way to distract him while she did this, so he and I went directly there and started throwing the football to each other and playing a very makeshift game of one-on-one two hand touch.  Being able to run faster than my son for the first time in many years is nice for both practical and competitive purposes.  

     While we played, a small game of "backyard" football began near us.  A group of kids between the ages of about 5 and 12 were playing a fast-paced game of two hand touch.  One of the lifeguards who was temporarily off duty joined in the game for a few minutes.  This was the only cue I needed to feel comfortable joining in the fun.  Maybe I would have felt weird as the only adult joining the game otherwise, but I probably would have jumped in anyway, as the lure of using my new lungs to play "real" football with my kid would have been too tempting.  My son joined the defense where the two oldest kids were playing, while I became the "big kid" on the offense.  Several possessions later, and I was keeping up just fine.  I didn't exactly play so well that I could have put together a highlight reel, so perhaps it was because the kids saw that I was doing everything I could to keep up with their no-huddle style of play that they made me the "all time quarterback" and chose new teams.  This suited me just fine, and gave me a chance to throw the ball to my son as well as the rest of the kids.  Eventually, the game broke up as kids moved on to other activities, and my son and I gathered what we'd carried from the van and headed up to our room.  

     I can't really put into words how wonderful this experience was for my son and for me.  He and I were able to have a moment that was completely storybook.  This was what we had wanted to do every time we raced across the field in 2014.  He wanted to have the dad who could play, be active, and not say, "I'm sorry, I can't" or "I wish I could"... and finally, he did.  This fairy tale moment fittingly happened in the location known as "The Happiest Place on Earth," and it certainly lived up to the title.  For 15 solid minutes, I was a kid again, and yet also the most elated dad on the planet. 

     Coming back to the room and seeing my son tell my wife what we'd just done was icing on the cake, and solidified how much the moment meant to him.  After only a half hour at our destination, we'd already experienced one of the highlights of the trip, and a memory that I will cherish forever.


  1. Snot and tears running down my Someone find me some darn tissue ASAP!!!!! I love how much you love things in life and you are THE BEST Dad Evin!!!!!!!!! Ps.... did you like my visual I added to this post? ;)

  2. I did feel as though this entry lacked snot... :)
    Thanks so much, Wendy!