Last weekend (mostly because I am the best wife ever) I bought tickets for the whole family to go to a Broncos game. They weren’t cheap, but I got them through a friend so I only paid face value, I had just gotten a bonus, and I knew they’d make an incredible surprise for Drew.
They were. I haven’t seen him so happy and excited in a long time. And the kids were pumped about taking the train to the stadium! I felt really good about changing up our routine and doing something fun as a family.
So we packed up the kids (complete with snacks, noise cancelling headphones, changes of clothes, and blankets) and headed downtown. The kids were AMAZINGLY good for most of the game. I had to do a lot of walking up and down stairs for potty breaks and boredom walks while Drew watched the game, but it really was worth it.
Just after halftime, the kids started to get restless. Luckily I had thought ahead and plugged them into Netflix for a bit while they chilled out. It gave Drew and I some quiet time to enjoy the experience!
Drew was thrilled because they brought Peyton Manning back out for this game and he played super well. And I just love the electricity of major sporting events. I was really happy about how well everything had turned out.
And then I heard someone behind us having a conversation. About us.
“Look at those kids watching tv like they’re not even at a game.”
“Can you imagine how much those tickets cost? They’re either rich, or they got them for free.”
“That’s the world’s most expensive babysitter.”
“They should have given those tickets to someone that would actually use them.”
And so on.
I was so hurt and so angry. And embarrassed. And then angry that I was embarrassed.
Because here is the thing, it WAS expensive. But we don’t have a regular babysitter we can use spur of the moment. And to be honest, babysitters are so expensive it would have cost us about the same as one of their tickets anyway. We spend a LOT of time at home because of the fact that we do have two small kids. Occasionally we do what we can to still get out and have a life.
But more than that, we WANTED to bring the kids. We knew they’d probably fade, but these are the types of memories we want to provide them with. And we wanted to remember being there as a family.
I learned after being a parent not to judge other parents. Parenting is HARD. By far the hardest job I’ve ever had. Most of us are doing what we can- scraping together money, dealing with stress and too little time, embracing the chaos, to keep each other happy.
So maybe those other people aren’t parents yet. Or maybe they’re just mean. But in the 4th quarter when Griffin had his earphones off, and was standing on top of his seat cheering at the top of his lungs, I made sure to turn around and give them a thumbs up.