Our
Journey:
Avalon's Army of Angels
January 31, 2009
On the ice!!
The kids and I had so much fun tonight!  We went to a Columbus Blue Jacket's hockey game
and sat
on the glass!  For the unhockey folks out there, sitting on the glass means sitting in
the front row - right behind the glass partition.  More to the point, it means sitting with your face
as close as you can get to the glass, trying to feel like you're on the ice, cheering your team
on.  It was
fantastic!

Our wonderful evening was courtesy of our much loved Doug and Lori.  Doug and Lori had the
honor of attending Joe and Holly's wedding this evening.  They were kind enough to think
about us, and about how much Aurora has always wanted to experience "the glass".  When
they offered us the tickets, I had to nearly sit on Aurora to keep her from sky rocketing right
through the ceiling!  

Ambrosia and Avalon were every bit as excited as Aurora and I.  After all, its not every day the
players are so close, you could nearly goose them.  

During warm ups, the girls befriended a player from the Dallas Stars.  As the Stars players
skated by, I told the girls it would be nice of them to wave at the players, since they really were
looking directly into their eyes.  At first, Ambrosia and Avalon argued - saying they shouldn't
wave at the "bad guys."  I told them the other players weren't "bad", just our competition.  I
reminded both of them that Avalon's beloved Danny plays for the New York Rangers now, and
they're our competition.  Did they think Danny was bad?  I also asked them what they would
think if our hugbug buddy, Ole, was in another city and people thought he was bad.  Would we
want other kids to smile at him and make him feel at home - or scowl at him like he was a mean
guy?  They were horrified at the thought of people not loving Ole or Danny.    I think it really
sunk in when I pointed out that the Stars players in front of us might be just as sweet and
kid-friendly as our own team, when they're back at home in Dallas.  
Once the mom-lesson was over, the girls turned back into the cutiekins I know they are.  It took
all of a minute for them to get a huge grin out of the Star's #6, Daley.  He's the reason I was
pestering them in the first place.  I'd seen him watching them every time he skated by.  I have a
sneaking suspicion he's as wonderful off the ice as several of our local friends are.

At one point, Daley skated by and tried to pop a puck up over the wall to the girls.  
Unfortunately, his angle tossed it directly to the teenager next to them - but no biggie.  Like I
said in the fashion show entry - I don't understand trophies or autographs anyway - so they're
really not very important to my girls either.  They were more tickled when Daley skated past
after a shift - and banged on the glass for them.  He really did grin at them every chance he
got that night.  

Knowing we were going to be front and center on the glass, the girls and I decided we needed
a good Blue Jackets sign to hold up.  Doug is the king of signs, he comes to every game
prepared for nearly every scenario.  I knew I'd have to work hard to be worthy of his seat.  So I
did what I do best - I winged it.  I spent the day eyeballing, cutting, and sewing like a crazy
person.  The result is the homemade, no-I-didn't-have-a-pattern, yes-I-did-it-freehand felt sign
you see at the top of this entry.  Aurora and I waved it like sugar-crazed kindergardeners every
chance we got.  As we wished the team well on their way to the locker room for the first
intermission, Aurora got a text.  It was from Nick - telling us he'd seen our sign on TV!  
According to he, and my hockey-hating father in Dayton, the camera had focused on the sign
for a few minutes as they signed off after the first period.  Wahoooo!!!  Somebody noticed!  
Better yet, Aurora reported that Manny had grinned at her and given it a "thumbs up" as he
skated by during a break.  That was worth more than 10 minutes on TV to Aurora.

During intermission, the Jackets do lots of fun things to entertain the crowd.  The first
intermission was a peewee hockey game, with tiny little guys about 5 or 6 years old.  Aurora
and I had laughed so hard we hurt something, at a wandering little bugger in front of us.  He
had skated out with the rest of the players, but done absolutely nothing after that.  He just kind
of cruised around in a circle, with his mouthpiece looking more like a pacifier than actual
equipment.  He never once looked anywhere near the puck, nor seemed to give two hoots
about his stick or other players.  He just skated in circles, occasionally looking our way.  For all
intents and purposes, he was the over-padded, ice dancing equivalent of the little girls who
used to do cartwheels by the goal of my sister's soccer team.  We enjoyed every single second
he was on the ice, knowing full well his father was having a canary somewhere in that arena.  

The second intermission brought a game of slingshot bowling to the ice.  Two chosen
spectators sat on saucers, while workers pulled a giant elastic band across the width of the ice.
 Once in place, the workers fought like crazy, to get the elastic band stretched as far as they
could, then placed it around the first "bowler".  As the band slingshotted him forward, his goal
was to knock over as many gigantic bowling pins as he could.  It looked like a TON of fun!  The
girls were all wishing they could try it.  

Part way through the intermission, Ambrosia decided she was close to bursting, and in dire
need of a restroom.  Since Aurora's bladder is also the size of a shrunken pea - she was more
than happy to take her.  They both frustrate the panties off of me.  I mean, c'mon...  I've had 4  
kids dancing on my bladder - and I can outlast the two of them put together and doubled!  
Anyway, as I was looking toward the stairs, Avalon and I had a close encounter of the "Stinger
kind".  We were suddenly startled by a crazy banging on the glass.  We looked up to see a
grinning Stinger (the CBJ mascot) waving wildly and blowing oodles of kisses.  He even sent us
'air hugs' and love pats.  We were both thrilled!  We've spent lots of time with Stinger, and
adore him.  He's a wonderful...um...bug.  I was just bummed that Aurora missed him.  At every
event, he's always made a point to seek Aurora out and spend time with her.  Aurora is
convinced he had a medical sibling growing up, and knows how often she feels left out.  He's
always busted his buttons to make her feel special, and deserves a Golden Wing award in our
book.  A Stinger grin definitely made the night even more spectacular.  

I only took a few pictures at the game.  I was so enthralled with feeling like we were 'part' of the
game, it didn't really occur to me to take time out to photograph it.  This was a case of enjoying
something so much, I forgot to document why it was fun!  Oops.  

All in all, we had a stupendous evening!  Several times during the night, Aurora and I would get
weepy, thinking about Joe and Holly.  We'd guess what they were doing...getting ready, saying
their vows, dancing at their reception.  Every thought made us happier for them.  No two
people ever deserved happiness more.  The hockey tickets were fun, but I can guarantee you
that Doug and Lori had better seats that night.  They got to witness the beginning of a new life
together...  A bond that had already faced down death, and come out stronger.  A bond
between two of the most life-affirming people you could ever hope to meet.  Yeah, the game
was fun...but I hope Doug and Lori don't mind if I'm a little jealous over what they got to watch
tonight...

Thank you, Doug and Lori - you gave us another magical evening.  

And Joe and Holly - may your dreams come true, and may your Love fill your days with Hope
and Happiness.  We adore you!  
The pee wee player who cracked us up
Ambrosia - totally diggin' it.  And before you
even mention it, yes - her hat is signed.  
She had
the players sign it at a Hats for Heroes event.  I
had no part in it.  
Look, look!  We're down at the players' level!
A sad attempt at an Ole picture...
The girls kept telling me, "That's going to
be Anam some day!
OK, maybe the Stars players
had just been staring at her
hair...
Aurora was in hockey heaven!
Avalon decided she wanted her wig tonight.
The jumbotron looked weird
from down here.
Our seats were right next to the opposing team's
bench.  I never managed to catch a picture of #6, our
buddy, but I got a pretty cool one of the goalie.  I'm a
total dork for not trying to take more.