A Lion-Sized Surprise

The radio station had a discussion about the  upcoming BC Lions (Canadian Football League) game as we turned off Hastings, heading for the Second Narrows, on Saturday morning. We were passing Empire Stadium, the temporary outdoor home of the team.


Do you think you’d like to go to a football game sometime, Cameron? See the BC Lions play there?


I got an enthusiastic YEAH from the back seat.


Do you know anything about football, Cameron?


NO! But I want to!


With a little grin he couldn’t see, I let the topic drop. He handed the smoothie Leif had made for us to share forward to me, saying, Your turn, Mama! Yeah. It was empty.  Thanks kid.


The kids knew there was a surprise planned for that evening. Despite Cameron’s pouts and quiet statements that he doesn’t like it when other people know what the surprise is, we didn’t tell them. Not until we were heading into the Stadium itself. Okay, Kate figured it out, but we did our best to keep her in suspense. Was she right?


Hey Cameron, all these people we’re walking with, where do you think they’re going?


They’re wearing orange shirts, Mama. They must be going to the BC Lions game!


Hmmm. I think you might be right. Hey, we’re walking right with them, same direction. Where do you think we’re going?


He thought for a moment, then whooped, and started jumping up and down. BC LIONS GAME! We’re gonna see the BC Lions play! Really Mommy is that what we’re doing, is that the surprise, are we going to see them? People all around us grinned. Surprises rock.


It was fun just getting there, and going up to our seats – though in retrospect, next sporting event will be a sugar-free occasion. I’ll not give in the temptation of free candy samples. Popcorn. Still a treat, but with less frantic behaviour and a less dramatic crash. Cameron yelled at the top of his lungs, cheering for the team even before they ran onto the field. I’m gonna CRUSH the other team, Mama! I’m gonna KNOCK them DOWN! GO BC LIONS! GO BC LIONS!


Early on in the game we were rewarded with a touchdown for the Lions. Fireworks went off so close to us, and the crowd cheered. The kids went nuts. They stomped (great noise on the metal stands) and yelled and cheered along with everyone else.


Cameron was full of questions. Why this, who was that, who threw the ball, what happened? Why are those girls dancing? Why do they have those orange things? How come they’re called the Felions? Why are people cheering? Is the game over? Did the BC Lions win?  Eventually he started crashing … damn sugar … and getting quite annoying. Climbing, pushing, whining, kicking, fussing. Leif took him over to his side for a bit, and answered endless questions.


By the end, both kids were exhausted. It was super late for them. We left a little early, moments before the Lions scored another touchdown – too little too late, they lost bigtime to Winnipeg.  It was still fun, of course. Great to get to Empire Stadium, won’t be too long before BC Place (or whatever they’re calling it now) re-opens, and the games move back downtown.  I hadn’t been to a football game in forever (I’m pretty sure I went to a Lions game in undergrad … at some point …). Both  Cameron and Kate were adamant, though they hadn’t seemed to really enjoy the game, they loved being there. So I’m sure we’ll get them to more games. Maybe soccer next?


With significantly less sugar, for certain.

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