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Yesterday was one of those days; not one of those days, thankfully, but rather the kind where you feel like you’re in constant motion. It was the type of day where every single second you’re doing something that needs to be done while thinking about the two other things that you’ll be doing after that. To some degree, that’s how most of the days roll around stately Puddin Manor. Usually, though, the excess action wears down a bit after dinner. The Puddinette gets a breather from overseeing the puddinlings while I leisurely spend the evening watching The Attitude survey the aquarium with a look that says, “Those fish need some cars.”

Yes, that’s right, he dropped not one, but two Matchbox cars into the aquarium. I guess he decided the fish might want to go for a ride.

Anyway, last night our typical evening wind-down period was pre-empted by Life. The Puddinette had a Girlz Night Out dinner scheduled and my recreational hockey team had a playoff game. Good stuff, no doubt, but a complete break of the normal routine nonetheless.

Now, in the past, I’ve gone on and on about the importance of Keeping the Daily Schedule. And I wasn’t wrong, not by a long shot. Still, as adults, parents, and human beings, the occasional break from routine is not only good for the soul, but helpful in reinforcing the psychological structures that keep us from going completely ’round the bend. Little breaks here and there are a big reason the Puddinette hasn’t found me at the breakfast table one morning wearing an “I’m with Stupid” t-shirt, pink fuzzy leg warmers, and a propeller beanie while spooning Smirnoff and Raisinets into my Mini-Wheats.

Mad props and much thanks to Grandma, by the way, for volunteering to keep an eye on the youngsters while the wife and I did our respective things. Without her, one of us would have had to alter important, carefully laid plans. My children are lucky to be blessed with grandparents that are so loving and willing to give of themselves.

For the record, the Puddinette had a fantastic dinner with the ladies, while undoubtedly mocking me without mercy. In other words, she had a darned good time. Unfortunately, Black Team Hockey wasn’t quite so lucky. We were down two goals with two minutes remaining. We did manage to tie the game up with just 13 seconds left. But then, 13 seconds and one mental collapse later, our opponent slapped one past our goalie at the buzzer.

It was a helluva game, though, and nothing to be ashamed of. Also, it’s a middle-aged men’s beer league. They are no trophies, no cups, no highlight reels. Just the enjoyment of playing with guys you like hanging out with and making fun of each other in the locker room. At my age, with everything else happening in life, that’s better than having my name inscribed on a cup.

Well, other than the coffee mug that says, World’s Greatest Lover*


*I don’t really have one of those


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