When I was a kid, my parents took us to see the Harlem Globetrotters play. I have only the best memories of watching those games. The players are part comedians, part athletes, and part choreography geniuses. It’s a really fun spectacle for all ages and I really was thrilled to finally have my kids be old enough to take them to a game.
Last year, the ex and I took our sons to their first Harlem Globetrotters game at the Staples Center here in Los Angeles. It was mostly disturbingly and shockingly loud for Little Man, who had me cover his ears the whole time but turned out to enjoy the game that way, so besides my tendinitis flaring up from holding my hands over his ears for hours, everyone was happy. Firstborn loved everything about it and laughed his butt off. He was the perfect age for that kind of humor and spectacle.
We went again this weekend, a year later and with an even more cautious Little Man and an even more terribly excited Firstborn. Yes, it was yet another “Mayim and her ex go to a basketball game” just like when we went to the Bruins game a few weeks ago, but this time was different. It was with friends of ours and their sons, and this experience left much more of an impression than the Bruins game did because of the following things.
1. The View
At the Globetrotters, there were not 10 press photographers in front of us as there were at the Bruins game, so we could actually see everything going on without craning our necks. We were really right up in the thick of all of the action. I didn’t know we would be sitting court-side and I would have been fine sitting in “regular” seats as we did last year. (I even flew coach class to Israel this winter, so I am not just claiming I can sit in regular seats; I actually do it all of the time!) I don’t like my sons to think our whole life is gold teeth, grey goose, and trippin’ in the bathroom, you know what I mean? I don’t want them to assume we get SWAG every time mama goes to an awards show. I don’t want them assuming they get VIP passes to amusement parks simply because we did that once. I feel uncomfortable with a ton of stuff like that, and I don’t want my sons expecting that the world be at their service or thinking they are entitled to anything but what they work for and spend their time working on. It’s a very important ethic for me, and I am so grateful we had this VIP experience. But for the record, it’s not the way I tend to roll.
2. The Ex
Having kids with me and the ex feels less awkward than not having them with us. I mean, we don’t really do anything alone anymore (hence divorce) and while the Bruins game was fun, it’s nice to have a second adult around to manage an overwhelmed Little Man and to take turns carrying him and such, as parents of exceptionally sensitive children know. As I wrote about with Sarah Tuttle-Singer here, being divorced is so hard and it’s the times when you are in crowded stadiums with an overwhelmed 5-year-old when you remember that. I am grateful we could manage this game together.
3. Heidi Klum
I will admit, I have never seen her on or in anything but a lingerie ad. She used to be a model for lingerie, right? I vaguely knew she was married to Seal (are they divorced? I don’t follow these things.) I would not have picked her out of a crowd; she looks like many of the thousands of skinny attractive coiffed women who live in and roam about Los Angeles. I don’t know things like who Heidi Klum is. Sorry! It’s not my shtick to know that stuff. Anyway, she was there and they did a prank with her and she danced with one of the players in her sexy tight jeans and high heels and looked a gajillion times better without any make-up or effort at all than I did after I made an effort to look presentable if understated, but whatever. Here’s her backstage (via Instagram):
Here’s me backstage:
Yeah, it’s pretty clear which one of us was/is a model. She’s on some reality show now, right? Never mind. Fancy Assistant Brandon will chastise me for not knowing soon enough.
There’s just nothing like laughing. Laughter feels good. And I laughed hard at and with the Harlem Globetrotters working so hard to be comedians, athletes, and choreography geniuses. Firstborn laughs with his head back and his mouth thrown open and his eyebrows working overtime, navigating the ins and outs of every joke and interaction. His crooked teeth even looked like they were smiling. And Little Man laughed when one of the Globetrotters pulled down the shorts of the opposing team and discovered he was wearing cartoon boxers. It was lovely to laugh with small people, with my head back, mouth thrown open, laughing the way I laughed when my teeth were crooked.
I mean they’re still crooked but not so much. I guess some things change and they also stay the same. Thank you, Harlem Globetrotters for creating another generation of appreciation for you and another set of good memories around basketball, comedy, and the simple pleasure of laughing like you mean it.