Yesterday I wrote about Jeff's and Sydney's "date" to the Father/Daughter ball. What were AJ and I doing during that time, you might ask. We went on a date of our own. To a Bulldogs Hockey game.
AJ had accompanied Jeff on the trip to the flower store to pick up corsages, and then proved himself a gentleman by presenting me with a rose at the start of our date.
I'd figured we'd go out to dinner first, but to AJ, autographs are far more exciting. So we headed to the arena early, paid for parking, and then walked around the skywalk for 45 minutes because we discovered there'd been another game earlier, and they hadn't yet opened the doors for our game.
Once they did, we were among the first inside. AJ was like a predator. He immediately focused on the bench area, where he noticed a couple players taping sticks and doing other mundane tasks in preparation for the game. AJ was all over that! We came prepared with a sharpie marker, and AJ managed to get four players to autograph his ticket.
Next on his wish list: get a puck. I couldn't have been prouder of AJ. A player flipped a puck over the glass during warmups. AJ and the young child in the bottom left of the photo raced for it. AJ easily reached the puck first. But he turned around and handed it to the boy. That made it all the sweeter when, a few minutes later, another player hoisted a puck just for AJ.
By that point, it really didn't matter who would win once play started. This was the best game ever!
Close up of the puck: note that it's still wet. And it has scratch marks on it. That proves it's a USED puck. Which apparently is a very big deal when you're nine.
The game was a good one, and we had great seats, just five rows back. The Bulldogs won 2-1.
And then, because the night wasn't already perfect enough, it turns out it was autograph night. After the game, and after the players showered (thankfully), they all sat down behind a long line of tables, and we were able to walk along and get each of their autographs. Posters were provided, but AJ thought it would be far better to have them all sign his jersey. (Good thing he had a shirt on underneath.)
Squint hard. The camera flash actually makes it possible to see there are autographs there. AJ doesn't care. The thrill is in the hunt, and so it's a pretty safe bet that next game we'll go to, he'll eagerly try all over again to get as many of their autographs as possible.
It's a date!