|Grace was all ready for her first Blues game with a new shirt!|
The tickets were actually a gift from my siblings, who knew that we wanted to make it to a game. To make sure that we didn't schedule anything for that date (it happens a lot with us), my sister Mikaela told us in advance to save that day for something special. Still we had no idea what it was going to be until Christmas Day, when we opened up a present for Grace and saw three tickets to the game. As Mikaela explained, it was a nearly perfect trip for us. The Blues were playing the Devils, who I quasi-rooted for when I was a kid. I loved Martin Brodeur, who was the goalie for New Jersey and later for St. Louis. I still have the jersey, although I opted for a Grace T-shirt for the game instead so not to draw the ire of the St. Louis faithful.
|Family photo after the game!|
We anxiously waited for the day of the game and headed for St. Louis with the girls after Mary and I got off work. In retrospect, we should have probably left a little sooner, but we're newbies at this so we ran into a little bit of traffic. Or at least I think it was traffic. I've been in parking lots that moved faster. After a slight delay, we parked in a garage down the street from the Scottrade Center and walked as quickly as we could in the frigid temperatures.
|Hanging out with Charley in the second period.|
|Charley wasn't as excited as me about the new Mizzou scarf!|
As we settled into our seats, me holding Grace and Mary holding Charlotte, I was immediately struck by the atmosphere of the game. It was just about to start the second period (yeah, we should have left earlier) and the sounds and sights were amazing. With music and horns blaring, the Blues skated onto brilliant white ice that seemed to illuminate the whole arena. Grace has always loved loud noises and bright lights and she smiled often as the game restarted.
The only thing better than watching Grace's reaction was watching Charley's. She's one of the most expressive little girls I've ever seen and at 10 months old, a professional hockey game was almost too much for her to stand. She bounced. She smiled. She yelled in joy. It was infectious. It brought a smile to my face and Mary's immediately and to many others sitting around us, including the gentleman sitting next to Charley that she befriended immediately.
|Grace was all smiles for most of the game, taking in all the sights and sounds.|
After the game we made the run back to the van and got the girls in their pajamas for the hour drive home. Charley, who remained her happy, bouncy self for the entire game, fell asleep immediately, while Grace dozed a little, but stayed awake. I know that Grace only understands a little bit of what goes on around her, but I'd like to think that she was just too excited to sleep on the way home.
While it's taken us a long time to make it to a Blues game, it won't be our last. I'm not sure we will ever be the biggest hockey fans in the area, although I can't speak for Charley, but the atmosphere and kindness of those we encountered at the game will bring us back someday for sure. As they say at the Scottrade Center, "Let's Go Blues!"