A whirlwind trip, a bad parenting moment, and the PS Vita

One of the things that is most difficult about living up here in this rural area of Maine is that I rarely get to any events or conferences where I can spend time with other bloggers. I often crave that time as it’s the best way to build on our personal connections, network with like-minded individuals, and just plain have fun. While I’m often invited to advance movie screenings and other social events, they are all in the Boston area, a four hour drive from my home. I know. That’s way too far away. When I was recently invited to attend a preview event hosted by the Boston Parent Blogger group, I was certainly interested, for two reasons. The first was because it would fall on school vacation week making it a doable trip and the second was that I’d get to connect with several new bloggers in person while Nick got an opportunity to get his hands on something really special. This event was held at the Vita Hill Social Lounge in Cambridge and it was a chance to play with the new Playstation Vita before it’s official launch, which was Wednesday. I mentioned it to Nick and I’m pretty sure I had him at Playstation and you get to play it before any of your friends. I still wasn’t sure, though, because it was still a big trip to take just to check out a new handheld game system. Apparently not if you’re 13, then it’s all the reason in the world. I explained and reiterated to Nick that it was literally just an opportunity to try out the Vita and a few of the games that would be offered and that he wouldn’t actually be bringing a Vita home with him. He assured me that a day trip to Boston with me and the chance to play with a new gadget was simply enough for him. So earlier this week, on Monday, we printed off the directions to the address and eased on down the road. The weather was perfect and our conversation was even better. I simply love one-to-one time with Nick because it’s when he’s most likely to talk about anything and everything with me. Yes he’s a teen-aged boy and yes I feel very fortunate that we have such a wonderful relationship.

Since a majority of our drive was on the interstate, our trip went rather smoothly and then we rolled into Boston. I love Boston. If you don’t pay close attention when driving in Boston it’s very easy to miss a turn and end up on the wrong side of the road looking over at where you need to be, but not quite sure how to get back there. It’s maddening and it can bring out the worst in some people, like me. Nick was reading me the directions and at very key moment Paul called me. I’m not sure why I answered the phone, but I did. It’s absolutely his fault I went on an all caps rage (as Nick so cleverly describes it) and I may have totally lost my cool and yelled a little bit. At both Paul and Nick. After nearly four hours of driving I nearly broke down in tears knowing we were merely five minutes from our destination when suddenly we got off course and I totally freaked out with Nick as the only other person in the car. Not a good parenting moment. Not a good person moment. Then, as if something/someone was looking out for us we ended up right we needed to be and we made it to the event on time. Thank goodness I left home early enough to give us some wiggle room with our time. As I was parking the car I begged Nick to forgive me and apologized profusely, explaining that what happened was not his fault at all, promising that the rest of our time there would be wonderful. I think he forgave me, mostly he was glad to get out of the car and play some video games.

We rushed into the lounge right on time and almost immediately I made eye contact with the one face that I recognized in the crowd, Christy, one of the founders of Boston Parent Bloggers. I gave her a hug, she pointed me toward a seat and the food table and Nick and I found a spot waiting eagerly to play with a PS Vita. The first thing that caught my attention was the size. It seemed a bit bulky, especially compared to the PSP, but when I held it in my hand I think it might have been a bit lighter in weight, but the features far surpass any other device of this kind. They were too many to explore in our short time there, but it has a touch screen on the front, a touch pad on the back, a camera, a full web browser, and oh, so much more. I mostly just watched as Nick tried out a few of the games – the graphics were top notch and I was blown away at the capabilities of this handheld system. I asked Nick what he thought of it. He said it was amazing and his first impression was that it was like holding a Playstation 3 console in the palm of your hands. Only better. I certainly feel it’s best suited for older kids, close in age to Nick due to the price and features that it has to offer, but there are also a few games for younger children to enjoy. There’s enough to keep anyone entertained or busy for hours, from music storage to movie viewing, updating your status on Facebook to sending a tweet, they’ve packed a whole lot of function into this powerful little gem. That’s what I think I love the most, that there’s a lot of exploring to do and fun to discover and even though Nick is most excited about the game play quality, I can’t wait to see what else it has to offer.

The time simply flew by and we had such a great time. Nick is truly a gamer so he did what he loves best and I did, too. I got to meet and talk with some fellow New England bloggers, nibble on some snacks, and relax after that very long drive. I knew that there was going to be a giveaway of a PS Vita system, but I didn’t tell Nick because I didn’t want that to be the focus for him while there. I wanted him to enjoy the experience for what it was – a chance to preview something really special from Sony. Then Christy announced the winner of the giveaway and it was me. ME! I think I may have yelled at her to shut up because I was completely stunned and then Nick slowly lifted his head from the game he was playing and asked me if I had just won a Vita. I said yes and his head nearly exploded. Christy shared with the group that we had driven four hours to attend the event and I could literally see and feel the sincere joy from many of the others in the room regarding the fact that we had won. That felt really, really special and more importantly, I felt welcome, like I was truly a part of this group of amazing bloggers. I’d love to thank them all personally and I’m extremely grateful for the conversations I got to have with several of them. I’d especially like to send a huge thank you to Christy and Boston Parent Bloggers for the invite to this event. I can’t wait to attend more in the future. Nick keeps telling me I’m the best Mom in the world. I’m lucky to have a child so forgiving.


  1. We do that. We yell. I think the kids get that it’s not personal, by the time they’re older.

    I think they just figure that adults are nuts. 😉 Which we totally are!

    But I sincerely doubt he’ll even remember that you yelled at him. What a wonderful day for both of you. Congrats on winning. You’re officially a rock star mom! 😉

    • Thanks Eryn! We are definitely all nuts in our own awesome way and I hope you’re right about the forgetting because that boy tends to have a memory as good as mine.

  2. Woo-hoo! Go, mama! I am good on the phone like that, too, by the way. Ugh.
    Naomi recently posted..Guilty Pleasures: John CarterMy Profile

  3. So maybe I’m a dork, but this post made me cry. My son is a lot younger, but he’s my sweet, sensitive guy and also a junior gamer. I totally understand. I barely acknowledged my kids during the entire event, which I felt awful about, but they had a lot of fun anyway. 😉
    Christy @morethanmommy recently posted..Highs and Lows of Blogging Stars–Beating the Bloggy BluesMy Profile

    • Awww Christy, you are just so sweet. Nick is very much still a super sensitive boy and I love it about him, but as he gets older I hope he gets a little bit of a thicker skin – goodness knows he’ll need it in this world we live in. You’re kids were so adorable. I glanced over at the couch they were sitting on a few times and thought to myself how wonderful they were handling things. You did a fine job at balancing everything!

  4. I shed a tear or two too, Christy. Just another bloggy bonding moment where our love for blogging meets our love for our family – I love those intersections. Congrats, Cathy, and nice write-up of the PS Vita too. Enjoy it!

    • Thanks Lori! We had such a great time and I’m so glad we made the trip! Nick has been enjoying his Vita since the moment it arrived on Thursday morning.

  5. Hopefully one of these days I’ll see you at a Boston event. Seems sort of silly that we have to go all the way to San Diego! So glad you won-that is fantabulous!!
    Lori Popkewitz Alper recently posted..Softcup: Green and ReusableMy Profile

  6. A big CONGRATULATIONS for you! am so happy that you won..You really had a great time on trip.. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! Keep up the great work.. 🙂

  7. I can imagine how excited you must have been to have won after taking such a big drive! I live much closer to the Vita lounge in SF and my kids begged me to take them there to play as often as possible.

    • Oh being too close might be a little dangerous, but you can bet we both perked right up when my name was announced. It was pretty darn wonderful. 🙂

  8. Cool! I was looking at the PS Vita. Sounds like something my boys would love!

  9. Hello, Keeping up with your trip (amazing grace–literally), working on re-painting 2 rooms after a plumbing leak & eating lots of tomatoes! Needed something ‘lite’ to read, so I am starting the Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King.Desert Safari Ajman

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