Monday, June 17, 2013

Skee ball...

I took the boys on a detour today. 

To Chuck E. Cheese.

It's likely you could hear me groan when I typed that.

Oh how that place drives me nutty. It's not just the incredibly ridiculous noise's the crowds of people, the dirty coins, the smelly pizza, the tables that "were wiped once....long ago", the bathrooms (I won't even describe the mayhem in there), and the germs from every person who touches everything.

Yup..I'm a germaphobe...and a crowd-a-phobe (whatever the real phobe word for that is)...and a neat-a-phobe (like everything in 90 degree-angles-a-phobe). :)  

That place does not meet those's the opposite.  And actually the one near our house is pretty clean and we go REALLY early when they open up so the crowd isn't as bad...

BUT it brings my boys so much joy to go there!! They LOVE it. Braden loves playing basketball and skee ball and Zach loves the shooting games.

So I follow along toting the bucket of coins...and then watch as they giggle while they feed their tickets into the machine to get their plastic toy crap that will be broken before we even pull out of the parking lot..true story. Happened more than once. :)

But the memories and the giggles and the happiness...totally worth pushing me outside of my comfort zone.

So...Chuck E Cheese made it on the Summer Detour List for 2013.  

Yes...we have an actual list and yes...we cross things off as we do them.  We have been doing that since Braden's diagnosis and it is SO much fun!! I know my days of having two boys will tolerate running around to various parks, pools, etc. with just mom are numbered so I'm soaking it in.  Zach's on the verge of being too old to be with just his mom and brother...he's going to have to suck it up a little while longer...and he can have friends come with us on occasion! Detours are more fun with friends!

Well today we went to hell...and the boys had a blast. 

I don't think they share my opinion of that place at all! :)

Crossed that puppy off the list! WOO HOO!!!

Braden spent most of his coins playing Skee Ball.  He's pretty dog gone good too!! And everytime he gets the ball into the corner 100,000 point cup, he squeals and screams, "I GOT IT!!!" and jumps up and down.  He almost made the record today!!

Every single shot he takes is aimed at the 100,000 point mark. He doesn't even TRY for the 50,000 or the 40, when he misses it often rolls into the 10K mark.

He doesn't get as many tickets on some of his runs because when he's not "hot" and doesn't hit a 100,000 he gets a far lower score.

But he still tries for the big winning goal every single throw.

Pretty cool.

Obviously, we are all very concerned about Braden's test on Thursday. We've got a 50/50 shot of finding out that his disease has relapsed for a third time. 

If that is the case, any reasonable hope of him ever being "cured" is gone. The docs have been very clear about that.

And we go back into treatment for possible treatment mode...we don't even know if there is anything out there that we can do. 

I can't even wrap my head and heart around him fighting a third time so I'm living for the moment right now.

But Braden is Braden and there's no one in the world like him.  He has no idea anything is in question or could be wrong. Once again, he is just continuing to live.

Everything he does is like how he plays Skee Ball.  

He fights. 

He tries for the big win.

He doesn't even consider trying for anything less.

He is my hero.

And when I grow up, I want to be JUST like him.

As I watched him concentrating and working so hard to get it in the winning spot today, I started thinking that I want to approach life the way that Braden Hofen plays Skee Ball.

Throw for the 100,000 mark every single day, in everything I do, every single throw.

Why settle for less than 100% of your best effort each day? 

Each day is a gift...we should be thankful we got it and we should use it to try to make a positive difference in the world.

So thank you Chuck E Cheese.

And thank you Skee Ball.

Mostly, thank you Braden Hofen. Once again, you have clarified life for me.

I love you with all of my heart buddy.  

Mommy will ALWAYS try to be like you!!

You give me hope!