I'm hoping that we can call ourselves that someday. Once he is home and well adjusted, one of the first things I would like to do is get our son on skates. For those who don't know, Shawn is an avid hockey player and we both were at one time avid spectators. I was a huge minor league fan when I was in high school and beyond. You might even say I was a team groupie. A good friend and I used to wait outside their team bus, loiter near Thai Heaven, where they often ate their pregame meals, and were fan club members.
My big claim to hockey fame is the puck that hit me behind my ear and knocked me out during a game. How cool is that? I still have the puck as proof. I also collected hockey cards for a few years, which, when hobby turned to obsession (just one more pack of Upper Deck Premium and I'll quit), I thankfully set it aside. I still have albums full of cards that will never be worth more than a few cents each….Guys who were once pretty good in the NHL but lived in the shadows of well managed sensations…who are now running the Zamboni at their local rink and playing pick up games with regular citizens. From my years of painstakingly pricing and cataloguing cards, I did come out with a few gems. Stashed away, I have a handful of rookie cards that will make for nice heirlooms.
So, then I met Shawn, and in our first conversation at the bar (yes, we met in a bar…don't judge me) he divulged that he played hockey as a kid in Minnesota. This was only a few years after my hockey days, so I was enamored. It wasn't until years after we married that he started playing again, but once he made the decision to buy gear and join a league, there was no looking back. He's been playing ever since. Ironically, his middle brother and family moved to Alaska and now almost every member of their family plays, including my sister in law, Kristen. I'm jealous. I would love to learn to play, but I'm too fragile. Shawn jokes that I would need a full body cage just to go out on the ice.
This brings us to today, when Shawn boards a plane for Fairbanks, Alaska, to freeze his butt off in the tundra to play in a tournament with his brother. This is what a brotherly bond is…still good friends after so many years of beating each other up and wishing each other dead. Can we really have an only son? Probably not. When he's 35, our boy will need this bond. Regardless of what so many only children say, I want this for my son.
Although I won't be there for the tournament, I'll hopefully get updates on the scores. Why did I choose not to go support my husband you ask? After all, you would think airfare to Alaska from Seattle would be cheap. No. Small airport in the middle of an iceberg equals big ticket. Round trip for one is in the 600's if you're lucky. For a few days in a cold stinky ice arena, I'll pass this time. While I would have loved to see Cade & Taylor, who are growing up all too fast not to see when we can, I can't justify burning my vacation time right now. I'll need all the paid time off I can get sometime this year (hopefully).
So, wish my hubby luck as he plays a marathon of games. Here is a pic of Shawn and his brother after a game during the same tournament 4 years ago. He has none of that hair now, but the brotherly bond has endured. Good luck guys!