Last weekend, we headed to the US Open to enjoy Arthur Ashe Kids' Day. We had the kind of fun that Dave and I don't take for granted because years ago, it wasn't something we could have enjoyed as a family.
The first thing Max and Sabrina did when we got to the center: volley with the pros. Then we cruised around, checked out the booths, marveled at the juggler and stalked the unicycler.h
We were guests of Emirates Airline, sponsors of the US Open who just launched the #EmiratesAce social campaign (check this Facebook post for info on sharing about a person who's inspired you in life for a chance to win a trip to the Men's Final Match, plus other prize-winning opps). Throughout the day, you could watch pros practicing throughout. We got to see Roger Federer in action, including that magical shot he does from between his legs. Sabrina was duly awed.
Max was eager to get to the tent where they were doing face painting; he'd decided to get "Las Vegas" on his face, in honor of his upcoming trip with Dave and his grandpa. And so it went. He told the woman doing the painting all about his trip. Then he also needed to have a fire truck painted on his arm with the number of his favorite, 31. And yes, he was the only boy walking around Kids' Day with Las Vegas on his face and a fire truck on his arm. It was awesome.
There was a Kids' Day show with live music, rising tennis stars and a pro play-off with Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Angelique Kerber, which we watched from the Emirates suite.
I'd never heard of the musical guests, including the band New Hope Club, which makes me officially old. Max wandered out of the suite over to the backstage area, where we watched the musical acts come on and off stage. That's Reece Bibby exiting below, if that means anything to you.
I've decided that Max definitely has boy band hair.
Ben, meanwhile, was thrilled to run up and down empty rows of seats, step up and down stairs and open and close doors. So a great time was had by all.
There were many years in Max's early life where we were limited to places we could go because events and crowds unnerved him. It was such a catch-22; we wanted to expose him to as many experiences as possible to help expand his mind, but we were limited.
That was then, this is now—but I think we'll never forget the "then." And so, when we have grand-slam slam outings like this, Dave and I are seriously grateful.