Well, Matt turned 16 this summer and on the day of his birthday he worked a double shift at The Lobster Trap, Happy Birthday Matt!
This summer his schedule has been work, hockey, driver’s ed and sleep. I have never been so tired in my life and, quite frankly, commuting each week to a different state for my career was much easier.
This summer has given me the necessary time to be “present” in Matt’s life. I had been traveling each week since he was, well, in the womb. Continued to travel after he was born. I am certain many people judged and that is OK. I look back at my rationalization at that time and it was very clear — I did not want my son to become the crazy, type A, work 100 hours-a-week perfectionist that I had become. Nope, I wanted him to experience life, enjoy life, enjoy the journey versus just getting to the destination and, more importantly, not live in the daily fear I did of not being good enough. In my mind, had I stayed home, I would have truly molded him to become me — and that was not what I wanted.
This summer was very different and at first I did not realize what needed to happen. I had to step away from work to deal with family health issues, one of them being Matt. What a gift it was being around and present to watch my son start to grow into the man he will eventually become. He’s more mature, thinks things through, strategic and, most importantly, acknowledges there are consequences. Yet, at the same time, he is turning into a very sensitive young man with ethics and morals.
Now on to the real story, which, of course, will be about me as much as him. He wanted to use our season tickets to the Patriot’s, but instead of bringing me as chaperone, or poor Dan Maurice, he wanted to bring three of his friends. Immediately my mind jumped to two fronts — first and most importantly, this would be the first time he went to any event without being supervised. Oh hell no, I thought. Secondly, and what should be less important, I was worried — WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY GET EJECTED AND I LOSE MY SEASON TICKETS FOR LIFE? Yes, I know, very selfish of me. You can imagine the discussions.
And the discussions… and the discussions… and the discussions.
So after quite a bit of discussion, we landed on this:
He could go with his friends, but only if he went to the game in a car service and came home in a car service.
Now, originally this was Matt’s idea. But after he thought about it, he wasn’t so sure he wanted to be driven to and from the game by a driver who would be watching their every move. We insisted and used the same car service we’ve used for years, PRO LIMO. It’s always been the deal with anyone who uses passes for the Optum Lounge.
Well, Matt and his friends had a great time. The car actually stayed and parked for the entire game. I filled a cooler with subs, water, chips and cookies. I sent a text to the driver, Alan, and he assured me Matt and his friends were doing great, tailgating with other cars around them.
Now, for the big question: Did they ever even go into Gillette and watch the game?
Yup, Matt was on TV as he and one of his friends were in the End Zone in the Optum Lounge watching one of our Patriots score. His dad snapped a picture and here is the proof: