As you might recall, Cameron’s first big-league hockey experience was in the end exciting and happy, but he wasn’t thrilled with the level of noise. The cheers at goals had him at the very least clapping his hands over his ears.
On Saturday evening Leif had a ‘surprise’ for the kids. White Spot (a popular local family-type restaurant) has a Giants ticket deal, where for a decent price you get dinner for the family, parking, and tickets to the game. Saturday afternoon had been filled with the ‘boundary testing’ that the karate dojo had warned me to expect, so I was almost dreading the evening. Napless, boundary testing, whining … yay, sounds like fun, hey?
Cameron surprised the living daylights out of me.
The lights went down for the intro show, and Cameron hooted and hollered along with the crowd as the players were introduced one by one. “GO GIANTS GO,” he yelled over and over again. The game got going, and he stood up in his seat, dancing like a madman. At least until I discovered that Kate had been told not to stand in her seat … so I couldn’t exactly let Cameron continue without big hurt feelings. No big deal, he coped well. He found out that no, the white Giants-logo printed towels we’d been handed were not to use in the bathroom to dry our hands with, but were for waving around over our heads to cheer. Soon, he had both mine and his in his hands, waving like mad.
Finally, the Giants scored a goal. There was a roar of cheering, towels waving – and Cameron joined right in. “GOAL! GOAL! THEY SCORED! HOOOOOOOOO!”
I’m assuming that a bunch of factors came together. First, he knew what to expect. Second, Kate was there and was in on the fun. Third, he’s been in a loud place a bit lately: the karate dojo. Fourth, he’d had time to think about the whole “get on the screen over center ice” thing, and was ready to do whatever it took.
He got to meet Jack the Giant, the team’s mascot. Cameron’s not big on costumes, they tend to freak him out. He tolerated a few moments, but when it was the time when it would be certain he’d be on the screen with Jack, he chickened out. But we had a chat about that – I think the next game we go to Jack’s security detail will have a hard time removing Cameron. Kate, by the way, got to hold silvery pompoms along with the dance team, and dance along with them. Very cool.
On the way home after the game, much past bedtimes, an excited and happy little guy pointed out to me, “I didn’t even cover my ears, Mommy!” So it’s not just me who noticed the difference, and not even just me and Leif. Cameron did. I sure hope he’s proud – he’s come a long way!