Saturday, March 21, 2009

Date night with Shelby

While growing up, I was a klutz who spent many nights in the emergency room. There was never a year that I didn't spend some time in the hospital.

There was a concussion after running into a pole while in a kindergarten, a broken rib suffered in a baseball game as a 12-year-old, a deep cut to my right knee from a bike spoke, and I almost cut a pinkie finger off while working as a slicer at an Italian restaurant as a teenager. Throw in four surgeries for various health issues, and it shouldn't surprise that many of the hospital staff knew me on a first name basis.

After each trip, my parents always had some gift waiting for me at home. It always made me feel loved when I walked into my room and found some present waiting for me on my bed.

On Thursday afternoon, I was able to do the same thing for one my own daughters. I received a call during my last class from her mother that Shelby split her chin open after falling on a toy box. I left work in a hurry and spent the afternoon with my six-year-old in a local urgent care.

The result was a night that neither of us will ever forget.

She received six stitches to close up a cut that the doctor said was one of the worst she had seen. My daughter was a trooper during the ordeal and I knew I had to come up with something to give her like my parents had for me after my hospital visits.

I had two tickets to a Los Angeles Lakers' game later that night and had troubles finding someone to go with me. While waiting to be seen, I had received a number of text messages from friends saying that for some reason or other they would not be able to join me to watch one of the best teams in the NBA.

Shelby kept telling me different friends I should try and invite to the game, but never came up with person I knew I should take.

"Hey, I know someone I can take to the game," I said.



She smiled so big at my response that the doctor warned her about possibly reopening her cut. We both laughed at that and walked hand in hand out the door.

She talked endlessly during the two-hour drive and never stopped asking questions about what she was going to see. I have never seen her so excited, however, it would have been nice for a few quiet moments while trying to navigate through LA traffic.

As soon as we walked into Staples Center, she had to have a Lakers' t-shirt, a foam finger in the shape of the No. 1 sign, an ice cream cone, and a large bottle of water. She was quickly becoming an expensive date.

While waiting for the game to start, she asked me what I thought was an innocent question. It ended up being a dig at her old man.

"Dad, who do you think will win the game?"

"The Lakers are going to win for sure, baby."

"Well, that will be nice. Your basketball and football teams never win."

She is definitely my daughter.

Despite that comment, we had a great night and the Lakers did win. She stood up the entire game cheering and yelling "MVP" every time the Kobe Bryant got the ball.

As we walked out, she said thanks and that she had a great time. Shelby even said that she was glad that she got hurt and was able to spend the night all on her own with me.

I couldn't have agreed with her more.


  1. That is sweet. I love one on one dates with my boys. Hope she doesn't have any more emergency room trips....I would hate to have to see you try and top this night.

  2. I swear there is one in every family - our middle boy ... oh boy.

    Glad that it turned into a good thing

  3. Sorry she got hurt, but alls well that ends well! Maybe you should take her on more dates and she won't be so expensive!!

  4. Very cool....(now the other 3 are going to get hurt when you have tickets!)

    Welcome back!!

  5. Aww, that's so sweet. I guess she's feeling better! It sounds like a great way to have spent the night.

  6. Perfect!

    What a beautiful story.

  7. What a great story. One on one dates with your kids is a great way to reconnect and to make them special.

  8. I agree that one on one time is great with your kids, and I have dates with my sons once or twice each year.

  9. sweet. i definitely want a daughter someday. lol.

  10. What a great dad you are. I guess it was just meant to be for you to take her.

  11. That's awesome and definitely a precious memory she'll keep with her all her life.

  12. Are back up and running Coach? We have missed you.

    Shelby's quote was so "classic kid", wasn't it?

    Who did win the game?

  13. now that is awesome (not the stitches part though)

  14. what a neat thing you did!! My dad used to take me on 'dates' all the way through my leaving home! To this day i remember them fondly, and he is one of my closest friends...little girls need their daddys!!:)

  15. I am 36 and still have "dates" with my dad every now and then. WHen my mom is out of town, I wil have dinner out, just he and I. Something a girl never outgrows is being spoiled by er daddy.

  16. This is so sweet. You are an awesome dad. :)

  17. so sweet! my parents never believed me when i broke bones or tore tendons - they just told me to take a nap!