When I ordered our tickets for the Charlotte Checkers Hockey game, it was on a whim. Spring Break was coming up, and I wanted to plan something special for the kids. The ticket representative was helpful and generous. He gave us perfect seats - in a section for wheelchairs, close to the ice and goal. We saw a lot of action, and it kept the kids' attention. Although Ben had been to a hockey game when he was one, it was essentially a first time for all of them.
During the second period, a guy came up to me and asked if my boys wanted a tour of the team's locker room during the break. Yes they would! (and me too)
I don't know how these opportunities fall into our laps time and time again. Whether it is being at the right place at the right time, luck or my kids' very cute looks, I just don't know. We seem to walk into these great experiences more often than not. The kids don't get the importance of it all. They can't appreciate that these are once in a lifetime opportunities. I try to explain it, but to no avail. Perhaps when they are older and look back, they will understand.
Nicolas Blanchard and A.J. Jenks led the tour. They answered our questions, showed us the different rooms for equipment, therapy and workouts. Each of our boys was given a frozen hockey puck to take home (they are frozen to cut down on friction on the ice). Sean licked his the rest of the night, trying to unfreeze it. Logan commented loudly about the locker room stench. Ben took it all in with his usual "I am above all of this" demeanor. I think Ryan and I were the only ones starstruck. I snuck in one of the photos, and Ryan was too nervous to get in one. Fun time had by all.
And if that was not enough, on our way out of the arena, Ben's teacher spotted us. It took Ben about 10 seconds to process who she was, but once he did, the happiness was visible - big smile and hug for her. What a night!
Did I mention we had just driven back from a day at the zoo a few hours before all this...