Something Pretty Special
We drove all the way up to Whitby to watch one game. June's a gamer 97% of the time, and Zoey loves being at the games, so why not? Me? I love it too, and Maggie? She doesn't count until she can tell us, "no." So we packed up and left home before our nephews lacrosse team had even won their semi-final match-up, hoping that we didn't get two hours into the trip and need to turn around. We didn't, and they won.
The 2013 Ontario Peewee Lacrosse "B" Division Champions are the Wallaceburg Griffins.
Giggles and his gang of gongshow buddies did it. It's no easy feat, as most championships aren't, but these young boys were as calm and confident a bunch as I've ever seen in my life. They were having fun, and enjoying themselves...the coaches were doing the same...the parents were behaving themselves and having a blast. It was worth the three and a half hour drive. I wouldn't have missed it for anything.
I can't speak for June, although the smile on her face typically tells you all that you need to know, but being here and being a part of our nephews and niece's lives was an important thing to us. It's what kept us in Ontario, and certainly what kept us close to home. There have been plenty of assurances that we had our heads on straight when we were making that deal...watching Beezer grow up and win back to back SWOSSA Football Championships...being there as Avery slipped from cute little girl to an Ontario Basketball Champion...and now watching Reece hoist his first Ontario Lacrosse Championship trophy. It makes you proud, and deliriously happy, and connected to their lives and experiences in a much bigger way than we ever could have been living so far away.
It's cute to watch the girls so enraptured by the whole thing...the action, the noise, the excitement, and of course, the happiness... Zoey especially, but even Maggie managed smiles and squeals and clapped throughout the final game against Owen Sound. She was pretty excited herself. Zoey soaks it up, although on this particular day she spent the better half of the game invested in an iPhone. She's quick to re-engage, and eager to join in the shenanigans when the shenanigans get going. She was on the floor clutching her Aunt Heather's hand as the boys celebrated, and she was full of laughs and skipping about as the trophy made it's way around from player to player, and photos were being snapped. I instantly flashed forward to imagining what it would be like to watch her, or Maggie, or both, do the same, and I was floored by the emotion of it. It such a very cool thing...such a very big deal to those kids, and their parents...and when I think about the confidence it gives them, the swagger with which they'll now walk, and perhaps even a new level of love for something that consumes so much of their time, I swoon. It really is such a very big deal, and in so many ways completely separately from the arena in which they won it. Putting medals around each of their necks we were watching them grow up a lot in just one day. It was pretty brilliant. Then to see my little girls with so much growing still ahead of them...laughing and smiling...soaking it all in like sponges. Curious, and malleable, and probably more than a little influenced. I didn't anticipate the impact the boys winning would have on my girls. It was obvious. They were excited and proud, and as caught up as anyone.
As caught up as anyone except perhaps the coaches, who gave up so much of their own lives to help these kids improve theirs...and the players, who worked so hard all year, and in every year previous...and their parents, who spent thousands of dollars and traveled thousands of miles between indoor and outdoor seasons...there are a dozen photos that say as much, and in the end we can all see a little bit of our own reflection in the shining silver of that trophy...everyone there on Sunday, and then a lot more, have left a mark on it. The team name gets engraved on it, but everyone who ever supported these sixteen young boys and their families should feel their stomach flip with excitement. You just got to see something special happen, not just on Sunday, but all year long...and both in the arena and without a stick in their hands. You just watched little boys grow big, and I wouldn't have missed that for the world.