This past weekend, the Faulks attended their first Houston Rockets game.
And when I say “the Faulks,” I mean all four of us. This was Ana and Emma’s first NBA game, and after we got them past their initial confusion (Ana was surprised that it was basketball and not baseball), they really seemed to be excited about it. I give much of the credit to the Rockets’ mascot, a giant gray bear named Clutch, and his epic bike journey from the Space Center to downtown earlier last week, which he chronicled on Facebook. (And which had him riding through South Houston, which is practically a street or two over from us.) The girls came prepared to see Clutch, and if a basketball game could be fit in around that? Well, so be it.
We were some of the first people to get inside the Toyota Center for Opening Night, which meant we all got free T shirts (woo!) and which meant that we were able to go and enjoy most of the games set up on one end of the arena. The girls had a good time measuring their wingspan against a picture of Yao Ming’s wingspan (would you believe that they fell a little short of his, pun intended?) and measuring their feet and hands against other players’ footprints and handprints. With our early arrival, we were able to find our great seats in plenty of time to eat dinner together before the game got started. (I made the mistake of “splitting” a pizza with Emma, only to discover that she was capable of eating three times as much as I did. She did give me her leftover crusts, though, so I didn’t starve.)
Once the game got started, Emma became very preoccupied with the acquisition of souvenirs. Or, in her case, the non-acquisition of souvenirs, since we told her we weren’t going to be buying anything besides dinner that night. This was bad news to her, since she had zeroed in on a stuffed Clutch bear that they were selling at a kiosk just behind our seats. When it became obvious that we weren’t going to give in on the bear, she spotted a couple of the literally hundreds of Taiwanese flags being waved around by Jeremy Lin fans (had no idea he was Taiwanese before this!) and told me, “I need one of those flags!” Earlier in the week, after watching a Gangnam Style video done by some MIT students, she determined that she would go to MIT and join the Korean Student Association, but her allegiance to South Korea was completely forgotten as she quickly caught her own form of Linsanity, which had everything to do with souvenir flags and very little to do with Jeremy Lin. (Let this be a lesson to you, Japan. You need to produce either some hip pop music or an NBA star so that you won’t lose your authentic Japanese American girl already!)
Wes and I were able to enjoy the game despite the FOUR trips to the bathroom that I got to take in as many quarters (why couldn’t the girls go at the same time?), and I even caught Ana getting into it all as well. Clutch did his own performance while Ana and I were in the bathroom (of course), but Emma caught it and was thrilled to tell us, in great detail, all about it — “His UNDERPANTS fell off!” Yes, that was the great detail.
By the fourth quarter, though, we were well past the Faulkettes’ bedtime, and they curled up in their seats, covered themselves up with my jacket, and napped as the game went into overtime and all around them people were screaming and jumping up and down. They woke up enough to get to the car, where they fell asleep as soon as we drove out of downtown.
We had so much fun, and we’re so excited to do it again soon!