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The game after the game March 6, 2010

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

Buffalo Sabres forward Tim Connolly scores the game winning goal in overtime against Philadelphia on March 5. That's when the game really got started for Austin and me. Photo by Mark Mulville, The Buffalo News

It’s hard to believe that a month has passed since Austin and I were reunited. I think it’s been a remarkably smooth transition for both of us, but that’s not to say that it hasn’t come without challenges.

For me, the most stressful part has been addressing the various details that come with Austin’s change in guardianship. To be honest, it involves working through a fair share of bureaucracy in order for he and I to access the services we need. I’m regularly juggling two or three issues daily. This is not a reflection on the good people advocating on our behalf, it’s simply a reality of our adoption journey.

But none of this tends to resonate with me when I step back and truly reflect on this past month. It’s more the ‘me as parent’ moments that strike me—responses from a terminal bachelor suddenly responsible for a teenager.

For example, it’s Friday night. Austin and I are feeling deflated as we sit in our seats at HSBC Arena. Buffalo Sabres forward Tim Connolly has just sent a cross-ice pass directly into the path of the Philadelphia Flyers’ Mike Richards, who streaks down the ice and buries the go-ahead goal late in the third period.

“Do you want to go?” I’m initially shocked to hear the question come from his mouth. Mr. “You’ve got to have faith” wants to leave early? I’ve previously mentioned how much I love that he’s taken on my passion for the Sabres, but I know it pales slightly in comparison to his passion for his PlayStation. That’s it! I quickly realize he’s already fixin’ (Kentucky talk) to get online with his Call of Duty buddies when we return home.

I decline his invitation to leave early, and we are rewarded for doing so. Mr. Connolly manages to redeem himself by scoring the game winner in overtime, and we join 18,000 other Sabres fans in exiting the arena in ecstasy.

Coming off the high of our victory, and with his PlayStation calling from home, Austin is WOUND UP! As we maneuver our way down the stairs toward the street-level exits, he really starts to push my buttons.

“Are you ready to run to the car?” he asks.

“No,” I respond.

“Can I take the keys and go run to start the car?”


“Can I just run to the car then?”


Suddenly, the lady walking a half step ahead of us turns back to look at me with a huge smile.

“How many different ways can you ask that?” she inquires while beginning to laugh out loud.

I glance at Austin. He’s smiling wider than ever realizing he successfully put me on the spot in public. “I take it by the way you laugh you’ve been through this,” I reply to her now feeling slightly more amused.

“Oh, yes! Been there, done that. And done with it!”

And to think I’m only getting started. Has it only been a month?



1. Maureen - March 7, 2010


It sounds like you and Austin had a great time! I am glad that the transition is going well! Hope to see both of you soon!

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