Today Alan and I received confirmation that our Cavaliers Championship Parade photo from 2016 made the new “All For The Land” Guardian mosaic downtown! In addition to this honor, our family name also appears on the Wine and Gold United court at the Q. And on the back of the 2016 NBA Championship banner that hangs from the rafters.
Alan’s first season in the Mayfield LBJ basketball league is officially underway! Alan has worn his lucky Cavs Championship shirt to the first few sessions. It must be bringing him good luck because today he made his first ever shot on the big hoop!
My camera was fortunately in hand, so here’s his form on the shot:
Alan’s friends playing in the league include Noah, Grady, Anton, Joshua, and De’Onta. Alan partnered with De’Onta to work on bounce passes.
Alan and I had extra quality time together this week with Veronica going out of town!
Throughout the week, we reviewed schoolwork together (Alan loves sharing his take-home folder contents), and we read Alan’s new library book, Zak’s Lunch. We listened to Alan’s favorite CD in the car during every morning drive to school. And we certainly made time for fun, including playing our favorite games at home and playing with Alan’s glow-in-the-dark toys under the covers before bed. It was both a fun and productive week!
Mrs. Russo posted the following picture from class on Tuesday. Alan told me the class was playing a math game on their tablets. Alan’s wearing his Cavs championship shirt in the photo, since it was Cavs Day at Millridge. That night Alan and I watched the Cavs beat the Celtics at the Q to open the new season!
Today, before school, Alan and I attended one of our favorite events — Donuts with Dad! Alan and I had our milk and coffee (but no donuts) together at the same table as Cassidy, Xavier, and their Dad. Then we had our picture taken by the school’s photographer, Mr. Ketchum. At Alan’s request, I wore my Ohio State shirt and Alan wore his Cavaliers championship shirt! After getting our picture taken, we met up with Grady and his Dad — and ended up in Mr. Bradic’s photo (below).
Today was another centers day for Kindergarteners — the first after busy season at work for me — so I jumped at the opportunity to drive Alan to school and spend the morning with him and his classmates!
It also happened to be Sports Day at school, so Alan and I both went in Cavaliers attire. During bellwork, Alan had to write and answer the following questions in his journal:
- What is your favorite sport?
- What is your favorite team?
- Who is your favorite player?
Alan responded with “baseball,” “Indians,” and “LeBron James.” All very understandable answers!
When it was time for centers, I manned a station with a math game. The kids rotated through in groups of three or four. Alan was in a group with his best friends Xavier and Grady. I loved how all three kids combined to cover the Cavaliers, Indians, and Browns with their shirts.
Side note: Alan ended up winning the math game. Later in the day, when I called Alan after he got home from school, he revealed to me that he thought he won because he was wearing his Cavaliers championship shirt.
After the math game, Alan and his friends rotated through other tables that involved puzzles, coloring, and drawing. At one station Alan drew a plane and a truck (specifically a Target truck) that he gave to me to take home. Obviously I loved it.
At the conclusion of centers, I stayed with Alan as the kids ate their snacks, then left for work afterwards. I would’ve stayed for the whole day if I could have!
This afternoon, thanks to Alan, we got to take a photo with the Larry O’Brien trophy! The photo opp was made available to members of the Cavs Kids Club (NOT Wine & Gold Members like me ha) following the Cavs’ annual Wine & Gold Scrimmage at the Q.
During the scrimmage, which we watched from the Club level, Alan cheered every time Kyrie touched the ball, Love made a 3-pointer, or LeBron (DNP) was shown on the scoreboard. Those three players are easily the three most recognizable athletes to Alan, since he saw them on TV quite frequently last season.
Overall, it was a great trip to the Q for Alan – his first since January 2013. The sound was a bit too loud for Alan’s liking, but he did have his favorite salt-free soft pretzel that made him quite happy. The best moment was when Alan saw the court for the first time. He described it as “Awesome” in his most excited voice. 🙂
It really happened, and Alan has the evidence to prove it: The Cavaliers are the 2016 NBA Champions!!
I’m glad I set my game-watching plans to be at home with Alan. It was definitely worth it, as he was great company for the occasion. And the cars driving on Mayfield road that honked their horns until about 1am did give Mayfield Heights a downtown feel!
Earlier in the series Alan also watched Game 3 with me (another Cavaliers win), making us 2-0 together for the series. He watched part of the 1st quarter at Debbie and Papa’s house during Games 1, 4, and 6 too. He regularly tuned in to see his favorite player, LeBron James, before going on his nightly adventures with Lulu.
Alan’s interest in sports continues to grow and I love it. I really hope that as time goes on Alan will retain memories of watching Game 7 with me. I certainly won’t forget watching with him. Sharing that championship with him at my side is one of the greatest moments of my life.
I still cannot believe how perfectly yesterday played out. What an amazing day. I hope the partying in Cleveland never stops!
6/22/16 Update: The partying has not, in fact, stopped yet. Robbie, David, and I joined approximately 1.3 million others in attending the Championship parade today! It sure was not easy getting there. After finding RTA was delayed by at least four hours by 8am, we took a bus from Cedar and Green to E. 110th, then walked the final four miles to downtown. But it was worth it. We stood at E. 9th and Lakeside across from the Jones Day building for the whole parade, which lasted about 4 hours – mainly because the cars had trouble maneuvering through the encroaching crowds of people! Below is one photo I took of LeBron riding by (he’s in the upper left, with the backwards yellow hat).
Father’s Day 2016 was simply perfect. It featured great moments with Alan and it may very well go down as the best day in Cleveland sports history.
The day started with Alan giving me a card and making me coffee, and it continued with Alan accompanying me to an Indians game. As we approached the ballpark with other Indians fans, we passed Browns Backers who were tailgating on surface lots (just because). We also saw Cavaliers fans already claiming their Watch Party seats for Cavaliers-Warriors Game 7 in the parking garage across from the Q. There was definitely a festive Cleveland sports atmosphere that encompassed all of our teams. I had to stop and take a picture of Alan in the Cavaliers fan zone outside the Q (pictured below).
On the way into the ballpark, I took a picture of Alan next to the Jim Thome statue (pictured below). Once in the Kids Clubhouse, Alan played with his usual favorite red car, the trains, and the roller coaster toy — which he rode approximately 15 times. But he also added a new green tractor to the playing rotation (pictured below).
We had some extra time to play because not only did we arrive early, but also the game went into extra innings. So Alan ventured back to the big kids area of the Family Deck, after getting his feet wet there last time. Alan took swings in the caged mini-field and hit a double in his only at-bat (pictured below). He also ran a simulated race four times. The fourth run came immediately after the ballpark erupted on Jose Ramirez’s GW single in the bottom of the 10th, which gave the Indians a 3-2 win.
After the exciting finish to the game – and the customary playing of “Cleveland Rocks” – Alan ran the bases on his own. Afterwards, we stopped for our annual Father’s Day photo/seflie (pictured above). Alan was his happy and silly self as usual. 🙂
On the way home we made a quick stop to see Robbie, Tata, and Papa so that Alan could play his rescue game. After exchanging some well wishes for the Cavaliers, Alan and I went back home to watch our team in Game 7 of the NBA Finals (How awesome is that to write!). With Alan watching and cheering by my side, of course the Cavaliers delivered a long-awaited World Championship back to Cleveland!
What a day and night with Alan – the best kid a dad could ever ask for and the true reason I got to celebrate today. Father’s Day is my favorite day of the year, and this one may very well go down as the best I’ll ever have.