Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ice, Blood, & Ghost Stories

     We have survived a houseful of nine year olds!  Alright, so there were only 5 of them, but that's pretty good right?  Especially since only one ended up covered in blood (story to follow).  Jackson invited a few friends over for his birthday this weekend to go ice skating and spend the night, so Friday after school they all got dropped off here.  We had pizza, cake, and presents around 4:30 so we could get to Huntsville in time to go ice skating.  Most of the boys had never been before, and no one in our family had been except Jeremy, so everyone was excited to get there.  If you know my husband then you know how fond he is of a car full of loudness (insert sarcasm), so he drove Mia and Parker and I took the boys with me.  Oh how lovely my van smells after it's been filled with 3rd grade boys!  Luckily Grandma offered to keep Everett for the night, so she picked him up around 5:30 and we were off!

     We were going to the Benton H. Wilcoxson Ice Complex in Huntsville, Alabama, so we had about an hour drive.  Now when I was a kid and we went somewhere we could either: 1. Play a game of who can find the farthest license plate, 2. Listen to whatever my dad had on the radio, 3. Cross our fingers that mom brought colors, books, toys, ANYTHING to play with, or 4. fight with each other until my parents threatened to tan our backsides.  For this trip we got in the van with an Ipod, a PSP, and some other movie watching device that I don't remember the name of.  I did try to entertain them with my vocal stylings, but it did not go over well.  I asked them what kind of music they liked, to which they replied "Rock and Roll", to which I replied, "so y'all like the Beatles?", to which they replied, "not really".  So I of course played some Beatles for them and they indeed didn't like it (except for Jackson who has listened to it since birth!) so back to the electronics they went.
     We finally arrived at the ice rink and it looked very crowded from the parking lot.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that there were actually 2 rinks and that on one of them the high school teams were playing hockey, so that's why the parking lot was so crowded.  Parker was enamored with these "hockey" boys and declared he was going to be a hockey player when he got big.  I finally explained to him that he would have to learn to skate first, so we pried him from the glass and got everyones skates on. I decided to forgo the skates in case some of the kids didn't like it and wanted to go back to the snack bar or watch the hockey game.  This is where our night took an ugly turn.  WARNING: This is the bloody party.
     No sooner had everyone gotten on the ice than one of Jackson's friends fell and busted his nose and mouth.  I literally turned around and he was there behind me, bleeding profusely.  If you have ever had experience with a busted nose, you know that it seems like this must be the plug for the body's entire blood supply, because it will bleed for what seems like forever.  It really wasn't too bad, but I know it hurt him, bless his heart.  We decided to call his parents who just happened to be in Huntsville, and they came to check on him.  By the time they got there he was back on the ice and had decided to continue his night with us.  All the boys were so glad he stayed. 
     They skated their little hearts out until it was time to go.  Parker now dearly loves ice skating and asked this morning if we could go back.  He still insists he's going to be a hockey player when he gets big, which is fine with me because I love it too.  Mia fell down a lot, but she really liked it.  All the boys did great for their first time.  Maybe next time I'll get out there with them. 
     On the way home they scared each other to death with ghost stories.  They all took turns telling the same old stories that we used to tell as kids.  I can remember being terrified of some of these tales as a kid, and I guess they were to because when Jeremy checked on them in the early hours of this morning they were all (yes all 4) in Jackson's bed asleep.  I wish I had had the energy to find my camera and take their picture, but good grief, it was 4 a.m.!  They finally got up for breakfast, then played until it was time to go home.
     It's hard to believe Jackson doesn't want me to plan him an elaborate "themed" birthday party anymore, but he really just wanted to have his close friends over to spend time together.  It's even harder to believe that he will be 9 years old on Monday.  He is a lot like me in his personality and mannerisms, which is a bit frightening, but I hope he gets over the bad ones and learns to embrace the good ones!  It was a great weekend with all his friends.  I hope he looks back on these times with his friends and remembers them fondly.  I know in my own experience that most "good" friends are indeed fair weather friends, but Jackson has picked some good ones, and I hope they remain close as they get older.

Jeremy & Parker

The whole gang

Parker contemplating his hockey career

Sweet Brothers

Mia working hard on pancakes for the boys' breakfast

Jackson and friends

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