Hockey and Truffles and Frogs! Oh, My!

On Saturday morning, our nephew, M, was slotted to play a couple of hockey games in town, so Hubs and I purposed in our hearts that we’d go and watch him play, even though the first game required us to get up at the crack of dark.

The crack of dark.  On a Saturday morning.

I mumbled to Hubs, “Who on earth plays hockey outdoors, nonetheless, this early on a winter morning?”  Hubs replied that hockey players were the only athletes tough enough for such early-hour games, because football players like to sleep in and get the party started somewhere after lunch has been finished.

I told Hubs that golfers usually scheduled ugly tee times, too, and Hubs replied that golf isn’t really a sport, because of MOTORIZED GOLF CARTS.  Hubs also added that because of MOTORIZED GOLF CARTS golf COULD become a real sport, if someone would be smart enough to begin racing said carts with motors across the greens at pre-dawn hours.

No matter.  We were bundled  up against the elements bright and early Saturday morning to watch little M smack the snot out of the puck in Game One.

Little M is frightfully cute, which is simply because he takes after his aunt and has my brown eyes.  (Never mind the small fact that M came to us on HUBS’ SIDE of the family, thus rendering it genetically impossible that he got his brown eyes from me.)

By the end of Game One, we began to realize that the eighteen layers we had donned in preparation for a hockey game at the North Pole in a blizzard with a windchill weren’t going to be necessary, because of HELLO, SIXTY-ONE DEGREES!! We began to wonder if we were in Small Town, USA or Mexico.  Sixty-one degrees is NOT a temperature that we usually see around these parts when we’re getting ready to pass out our Valentines.

By Game Two, we were considerably lighter, after having made a trip home to discard seventeen layers of fabric and Gortex, and we were back at the rink in time to see the puck drop.  This time around, M  was the goalie.

The cutest goalie ever, I might add.

(It’s because he has  my brown eyes.)

And check out this trophy-winning save:

And then!

Well, it’s not every day that you can snap a picture of your nephew playing goalie while a train transporting airplanes is whizzing by in the background!

After the games were finished, we joined M at a local fast food chain for lunch, where he and the boy both ate their weight in cheap Mexican food, and where M and his sister, Miss A, introduced the boy to sopapillas for the first time in his life.

Our boy has finally been exposed to gourmet food and upper class culture, as he declared sopapillas to be his new favorite food.  Fried bread and sugar and cinnamon.  Those  happen to be the boy’s favorite food groups.

We also had to make a trip to the local Walmart on Saturday afternoon, because — SWEET HOLY MERCY! — the boy had to make a Valentine’s Box for school, and his teacher had announced that the most CREATIVE Valentine’s Box in their classroom would win a prize.

I was quick to suggest that we buy a real-live, genuine, United-States-Postal-Services-approved, $7.97 gray-aluminum mailbox, and he could paint it red.  And stick heart-shaped stickers all over it.  And low!  I was certain that no one else in the class would have a REAL mailbox to hold their Valentine’s Day cards, and wouldn’t that mean that the boy would SCORE THE COVETED TEACHER-ISSUED PRIZE with great ease?!

Naturally the boy completely nixed my mailbox idea, and he began talking about construction paper and hot glue guns and paint and turning a cylindrical oatmeal container into a frog, and I had to sit down for a minute, hang my head between my knees to catch my breath, and ask Hubs if he wouldn’t mind calling the doctor and seeing if I could have a Valium prescription for the Weekend Crafting, which was about to attack me head-on.

Hubs and I purchased the boy’s lengthy list of oatmeal-tube-turned-frog-box craft supplies, and I had my doubts that I’d survive the rest of the weekend, especially since the boy had commissioned me to make chocolate truffles for the treat he’d take to his class party.

I offered to buy him some ultra-fancy cupcakes out of the bakery at Walmart, but then the boy turned the big blue eyes on me that said, “Fine.  Store-bought cupcakes it is, but everyone else will have delicacies made by Martha Stewart.”

I caved.  And I spent the entire afternoon on Saturday pulverizing Oreo cookies and beating and mixing and getting flour on my face and melting white almond bark and using GEL FROSTING PENS, PEOPLE to decorate truffles, and low!  If these truffles aren’t worthy to grace the cover of the world’s best dessert magazine, I don’t know what is!  They are beautiful!

And I am humble.

While the truffles were busy beating me up in the kitchen, the boy sat at the counter, cutting and hot-gluing and painting, and he didn’t ask for a single ounce of help, which made me tuck the Valium away for the NEXT crafting project.

May I present the Frog Box, keeper of all Valentines?

If that isn’t the crowning glory of all the 4th grade Valentine’s Day boxes, then clearly the contest is rigged and the teachers don’t know the difference between the Mona Lisa and a cereal box.  We expect to win the gold with this frog, people.  The boy is already preparing his acceptance speech for when he accepts the medal.

And now, Hubs and I are heading off on a DATE, because it’s nearly Valentine’s Day, and because our Monday night was looking a little jammed up with the boy’s floor hockey game.  So yes, a GENUINE DATE, involving the hot rollers and perfume and clean socks and no flannel pajamas.

Happy Sunday night.

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