Little did anyone know, this game never would have been if it wasn't for 2 very different families living 2 very different lives. This is a story about 2 sisters who were as different as night and day and yet the same in a lot of ways.
Let me introduce you to my sister Lisa and her family.
3 girls and 3 boys were born into her family. They were avid hockey fans from day one, due to their mom and dad's diligent tutelage in the art of Canada's favorite sport. Each of the boys started hockey the day they were old enough to slap on skates and wear a jersey. Street hockey, floor hockey, ice hockey, it didn't matter. As long as there was a stick and a puck involved, the kids were busy honing their skills every minute of the day.
Then there was me and my family.
3 girls and 2 boys were born to us. Each of my kids were very close in age to my sister's kids. However we chose a much different path, a path that required similar dedication to honing skills and mastering tecnique. Orchestra, Chamber group and Solo lessons took up every waking moment of the day. Starting at the tender age of 5, each of them lifted the tool of their trade and began the long road to perfection.
But one day my sister decided that enough was enough. She was not going to let me, her baby sister, deprive my boys of the joy of the roughest contact sport out there. Something had to be done to right the wrong I was inflicting on her nephews. But what could she possibly do to turn the tide of my firm belief that pursuits which required 3" thick protective padding were not a good idea?
She did what any loving Aunt would do. She started sending her boys stinky old hockey equipment hand-me-downs home with Anderson Cooper!
Anderson didn't mind the fact that the helmets were 5 times too large and the Jerseys wore like an Oscar worthy evening gown. It was hockey equipment and that was all that mattered. He wore it around the yard all that summer until heat exhaustion took over.
The next step in her plan to save my boys from utter shame and embarrasment was an offer to enroll them in a league with her boys. She picked them up and brought them to the rink and home again like clock work. Never a word of complaint did my sister ever voice aloud. Never did she wag her finger at me to say "Shame on you for not bringing your boys to hockey!". She bore her burden quietly and happily.
That is why THIS moment was just so special.
Two cousins celebrating a victory together, one raised with a violin in his hand and the other with a hockey stick. It was a moment I never imagined possible. But my SISTER believed.
Look at my boy now.
With the help of his 3 hockey playing cousins, he managed to win the Championship game!
James, my sister's oldest son, was the one who finally convinced Junior to try his luck with hockey at the ripe old age of 20. Even though my oldest son had never played on the ice in his life, his oldest cousin was anxious to get him into a set of blades.
Both Junior and James managed to sink the puck with grace and flair for the Championship game.
Cousin Tim is the enforcer of the team.
He's big and burly and.......
most likely to be found sitting out a few minutes of precious game time in the penalty box.
Cousin Matt is the guy with speed, power and accuracy.
Unfortunately for me, I can't tell which one of these guys is which so I just have to hope that he is somewhere in this picture.
3 brothers and a cousin, all on the same team. 3 brothers and a cousin playing to win. 3 brothers and a cousin drinking out of a dirty old trophy....
that can't be sanitary, can it?!
My sister has taught me that a mother never should coddle her sons.
She taught me that if you keep your boys from doing dangerous things like strap on some thin padding and skate around a frozen pond with a thin wooden stick, they will never get the chance to be injured in battle.
She taught me that your boy is not a man until he has shed blood, most likely his own, on the icy battle field, he is not a REAL man.
I am so thankful to my sister for ensuring that my boys did not become pansies.
My boys only SELL pansies.
Thanks Aunty Lisa! You are the BEST aunty a boy could ever have.
Just for the record, here are a few more pictures of the momentous occasion.
|Cousin Timothy accepting the trophy|
|Junior's posse shares in the victory|
|Junior gloating over his victory with a conquered opponent|