With Spencer attending a new school this year, it occurred to me that he hadn't seen some of his regular friends in a while. And since our weekends tend to be pretty busy, I suggested to S-man that he invite a couple friends to a Seattle Thunderbirds hockey game so he could hang out with them for a while. So tonight I took Spencer and two of his friends from the last few years down to the Showare Center and took in our third Thunderbirds game of the season.
This was the first time I can remember that I truly got to see Spencer in his element. Normally if I see him with his friends, its either a) in some school or sport activity with lots of parents and kids around, and he's focused on some other task, b) he has friends over but not in my sight, or c) very short stints in passing. With a 30+ minute drive to and from the game, plus 150 minutes of time together in the arena, I felt like Jane Goodall observing monkeys in their element (although I'd argue it's probably easier to make sense of monkeys than three eight year olds).
My favorite part was following the three as they walked to the arena shoulder to shoulder. Spencer was happy, socially confident and comfortable, and responsible. I probably could have told the three I would meet them outside after the game and not seen them for the next couple hours, and they would have been just fine. It's a snapshot in my mind I won't forget.
Thank you, Spence, for allowing me to tag along. Can't wait until we do it again. And not just because I don't have to talk to any adults (that's just a bonus). Just hope the T-Birds put up a better fight next time.