For me parenting is an amazing process. There are times when I throw my hands up in the air and wonder what in God's name I have gotten myself into. For the most part I think of it as an amazing process that I am blessed to be a part of. It is an amazing process to watch childhood unfold. You watch this tiny little baby who is so helpless and is completely dependent upon you. You watch them grow and change, and develop into these little people in something that feels like a blink of an eye. Sometimes it feels like watching a rosebud begin so small and delicate and as it blooms it becomes bigger, more showy. I love to sit back and watch the kids become their very own people.
Rowan has always been more of Mommy's boy. Do not confuse this with "A Momma's Boy". He was my little man, he loved his Daddy, but he was mine. The girls have always been drawn to their Daddy like moths to a light (flames are so much more violent and dangerous than the steady warm glow of a light bulb). They would look at Daddy with this look of something akin to hero worship. They worshiped their Daddy, but they emulated me. Rowan was always just his own little person. He loved his Dad, but really there was no emulation. All of this changed this year. This year Rowan has begun to really see his Dad. They now share common interests, and I see him beginning to want to "be like Dad".
Up until this past year Rowan never really had any interest in either playing or watching hockey. It just was not his thing. This year he began very slowly to take an interest in the hockey games that Christopher would watch (I think that snacks might have been part of the hockey allure). As the season progressed Rowan could be seen more often planted on the couch beside his Dad, his voice echoed with his fathers during bad calls made by the ref and when the Hawks scored. Christopher is a rabid Chicago Black Hawks fan, and has been for as long as I have known him. There could be no greater gift that a son could give to his father, than for Rowan to route for Christopher's team. The day after the game Rowan and Christopher and my Dad would talk about the key points in the game. Rowan was now part of a manly club. During the playoff season my house was nearly unbearable. The two of them would start screaming out that stupid "Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh du" song that the Blackhawks play for their goals. Each time the Blackhawks would win another game, I would groan. How long do play off games last? I would just pray that the Blackhawks would be eliminated so that my could return to normal, each night at like 1 in the morning Christopher would do his little dance into the bedroom singing that stupid song with a big grin on his face. On playoff nights we would let Rowan stay up until 9:30 to watch the games, but as you can see from the picture above, there were nights that he just couldn't make it.
During this whole time the player "Andrew Shaw"'s name was used around our house a lot. Andrew Shaw is a member of the Blackhawks who just happens to be from Belleville. That made him extra special because he was not only a Blackhawk, but a local boy!
There was a lot of excitement at our house when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. For Christopher it felt like a dream. It was a dream for me too, because it meant that I would not have to listen to stupid hockey again for a whole dreamy year! Christopher told Rowan a few times that when Andrew Shaw brought the cup Belleville, they would have to go and see it. Apparently it is a tradition for each member of the winning Stanley Cup team to bring the cup to their hometown for a day. It doesn't really turn my crank, but guess that I can see how that would be exciting.
We had just come home from our vacation, and I was in Belleville doing some shopping to replenish our empty cupboards. I was listening to the radio when the announcer made mention to the fact that Andrew Shaw was in Trenton with "The Cup". I frantically pulled over into the first parking lot that I could see and called home. "ANDREW SHAW HAS THE CUP IN TRENTON!!!! HE'LL BE IN BELLEVILLE AT THE MEMORIAL AREANA THIS AFTERNOON!!!!!!! I will finish up here as quickly I can, so that you and Rowan can come back here! Clean him up and get ready!" I did very terrible shopping, and only hit two stores. I raced home and felt like I should be handing a baton to Christopher and Rowan. Then they were off.
Christopher and Rowan came home several hours later, very hot but very excited. Rowan kept saying that "Saturday is Andrew Shaw's birthday". They had an amazing opportunity, an opportunity that not many have the privilege of having. How many rabid hockey fans have the opportunity to not only see a player, but to touch the Stanley Cup? What an amazing bonding opportunity!