Monday, May 31, 2010

SKATE YOUR LANE;; THE END

ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE:

Sidney and I were sitting in a pair of seats on the glass at the TD Garden, waiting for the first game of a new season to begin.

“Excited?” Sid asked, watching my knee bouncing as I tapped my foot.

“And nervous,” I nodded.

“He’s gonna be great,” he told me, giving me a kiss.

“Ew guys! Keep that to yourselves!” the seventeen year old version of myself yelped as she sat beside her father.
Brennan followed close behind, taking his seat next to me. He was built just like Marc-Andre and I; tall and lanky. Brennan was only fifteen, but he was already six foot two.

“Hey Bren, pass the popcorn!” Avery called over to her brother, pulling up the sleeves of her new Bruins jersey. Brennan, in the same jersey, handed the bag down to her.

In contrast to our children, Sidney was wearing a suit and I was in a pair of fitted black slacks and a tailored oxford shirt. We still had the habit of dressing professionally for games, even though Sidney had retired after the end of last season.

He had no idea what he was going to do with all of his free time.


The buzzer rang and the St. Louis Blues took to the ice, followed by the Boston Bruins.

The four of us were up and banging on the boards as the B’s skated at our end.

Oliver swiftly passed by us, giving us the biggest smile he possibly could.

My little Ollie had shot up to six feet, but he was practically a spitting image of Sidney, from his build to his work ethic to his style of play.

Going into the draft, Oliver was the number one pick, which Boston was lucky enough to get. As soon as he turned eighteen, they decided that they wanted him to be on the team rather than playing in the minors.

Wearing number eight on the back of his sweater, Oliver proudly played as a center. Avery was a left winger and Brennan, who could play in the NHL right now, was at right wing.

Even though Oliver was drafted and he was a great player, Brennan had a lot riding on him. The boy has been scouted since he was five, and for a perfectly good reason. Brennan’s style of play was a mix between my sharp shooting and Sidney’s play making. Needless to say, he was lethal.

A few NHL teams have already started to show interest in him, inviting him to practices during the upcoming season.

Of course, his attendance at the practices would all depend on his grades, like everything the kids did hockey-wise.

The rule was ‘poor grades equals no hockey’. It was that simple.


When the lights dimmed for the opening night ceremonies, I looked over at Sidney and Avery.

Even though she had a lot of my looks, I still saw so much of Sid’s characteristics in her appearance and personality.
She had always been a daddy’s girl and Sidney had taken extreme care when it came to his little girl. When she first wanted to play hockey with the boys, Sidney dismissed the notion until the then eight year old Avery begged for him to let her, and of course he did.

Starting her senior year of high school, Avery was on the hunt for a college. Several had offered her scholarships to come and play hockey, but she wasn’t sure if that was what she wanted to do, and we were okay with that.


The puck dropped soon after the National Anthem played and the game began.

Oliver wasn’t on the starting line, but from what I could tell he was being used on the fly between the second and third lines.

“Look at him go!” I grinned, watching Oliver take the puck over the blue line and cut through the defense, passing to a team mate that put it in the net.

Sidney grabbed my hand and pulled me up with him to applaud our son.

The five guys on the ice high-fived and smiled, but Oliver had the biggest grin of the bunch.

“Mom, you’re totally right. He smiles just like Dad,” Brennan noticed, making a weird face.

“And what’s wrong with that? Your father has an adorable smile!” I said, turning to Sidney and winking at him, earning that same smile.

“Hey Bren, you know who you look like, right?” Sidney asked in between the first and second period and Boston was leading one to nothing.

“Qui?” he asked.

Even though the three spoke both English and French, Oliver was the only one born in Montreal. As another summer baby, Avery was a native of Halifax. Brennan is a Pittsburgh boy and he always took crap from his siblings for being the only American in our Canadian family.

“You look just like your mom,” Sidney told him with a chuckle , making Brennan turn red.


As our kids grew up, we realized that there was a lot of pressure for them to live up to their name.

This pressure wasn’t coming from us though. It was from coaches, classmates and scouts. The kids definitely handled it well though, which they must have gotten from Sidney.


Throughout the second period, Oliver got more comfortable and fell into a groove.

“He’s all over the corners,” Sidney noticed and I saw Avery nod.

“This goalie is giving off huge rebounds. Oll just needs to get in front of the net,” Brennan added.

I could tell he was itching to be out there, but so was Sidney.

After twenty-two years in the NHL, Sid was having a difficult time adjusting to a life without practices and games on the road. He had been spending a lot of time at home and it was annoying Avery and Brennan.

Oliver was now living with a team mate and his family in Boston, but even though it was a little more quiet at the house, the tension levels were increasing more and more.


I was watching Oliver and a Blues’ defenseman in the corner trying to get the puck and Oliver suddenly broke away, skating around the back of the net and flicking his wrist. The puck soared over the goalie’s glove hand and hit the back of the net, setting off the red light. Oliver’s hands went up and he let out a loud, “Woo hoo!”

I stared in awe; this was one of my proudest moments and I could tell that Sidney was thinking the same thing.


The Bruins won four to one and after the game we went down and waited outside of the dressing room for Oliver.

He finally appeared, wearing a suit that I had helped him pick out.

Oliver immediately smiled and gave me a hug. After hugging Sid, Avery and Brennan, Oliver pulled something out of his pocket.

“This is for you guys,” he said; it was the puck from his goal. It was labeled ‘1st NHL Goal’ with the date.

“Hold on, let’s take some pictures!” Avery suggested and took her camera out of her purse.

We had a trainer take a few pictures of the five of us, Oliver in the middle, holding up his puck and grinning brightly.

“I know exactly where this is going when I get home,” I said excitedly.

Mom,” Oliver groaned, his cheeks turning red.

“Oh Ollie, you only get your first NHL goal once! Let me embarrass you, you’ll thank me later.”
“Ok mom. Just don’t make a habit of it!” he laughed.

I wasn’t the usual type of hockey mom that overcompensated for a lack of hockey knowledge. A lot of the time I had coached the teams my kids were on. I wasn’t embarrassing or demanding. I just wanted them to have fun and learn to love the game.

Now that they’re all older though, hockey is very respected around the house. It’s all of our passions, but we know when not to take it too seriously.


Before we had to leave for the airport, Bren, Avery and Sidney all said goodbye to Oliver, then I was the last to approach him.

“Is there anything else you need before I go?” I asked. Ollie had always been a momma’s boy.

“Nothing I can think of,” he shook his head of shaggy, dark hair, then his hazel eyes lit up, “Oh! Will you send me your poutine recipe? The team’s having a pot luck thing soon and I want to have the best dish.”

“Of course. I’ll email it to you when I get home. You be good now. Behave yourself and play your heart out,” I smiled, pulling my boy in for one more hug and kissing him on the cheek.

“Gross, mom. The guys are gonna rip me a new one if they see you do that again!” Oliver seemed genuinely worried about the opinions of his team mates.

“Calm down, Ollie. Their moms all did the same thing, trust me,” I said, wiping my lipstick off of him.


It took me a few weeks to get used to not having Oliver at home, but he called and texted and even video-called to keep me from going crazy.

Without superstitions, Oliver had no problem calling me before or after a game. Brennan was the meticulous, superstitious one, which surprised me.

After dinner on a Thursday night, I was looking for a spot to put the picture with Oliver’s ‘first goal’ puck. Peering at the shelves of awards and photos in our family room, I smiled at all of our pictures from over the years. We still lived in the same house that Sidney and I bought seemingly so long ago, and we had achieved so much in our seventeen years of marriage.
Sid had spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Penguins and hoisted six Stanley Cups as their captain.

Even though it sometimes felt like I hadn’t done very much with my life, I truly had.

I raised three kids to be amazing, respectful, ambitious young adults, and worked with Sidney’s charity to bring hockey to children all over Pittsburgh.

I found a photo of Oliver when he was six. It was just after a game where he scored his first goal ever while on a team, so I set the new picture and the puck beside the old ones, then heard Avery from upstairs.

“Seriously? Go away Dad!” her raised voice was just below a shout, but I went to see what was happening anyways.

Sidney was sitting on Avery’s bed while she was doing homework at her desk.

“What’s going on in here?” I asked and Avery shot me an annoyed look.

“I’m trying to finish my physics so I can video chat with Uncle Marc-Andre, but he’s just sitting there trying to make small talk. Sorry Dad, but you need a hobby,” she told him, and Sidney looked like he had just been slapped in the face.

Avery rolled her light green eyes at Sid and I could feel that she was going to keep going at him, so I had to intervene.

“Hey Sidney. Let her do her work. Come help me downstairs. Henry and Vienna called earlier about something.”
He got off of Avery’s bed and I noticed the look of relief in her eyes as he followed me out into the hallway.

I grabbed his hand and shot him a playful smile to peak his curiosity.

“What exactly do you need help with?” Sidney asked; we were now in the basement, also known as our entertainment room.

Brennan was hanging out and playing some video game that involved blowing up zombies.

“Hey Bren, there’s some cookie dough ice cream in the freezer with your name on it. You better grab some before Ave finds it,” I told the boy, and his green eyes briefly broke from the television screen to look at me.

“Awesome! Let’s just keep this whole ice cream thing between us though.. I don’t need Avery hogging it all like last time,” Brennan said with a wink, turning off his game and heading up to the kitchen.


Sidney closed the door after Brennan and I swiftly pushed him up against it.

“So was the ‘help me’ code or something?”

“I think that’s been established already,” I nodded, shutting him up with a hard kiss.

“I like this code,” Sidney chuckled, his entire face lighting up.

He had aged well, which didn’t surprise me whatsoever.
I backed away, taking his hand again and pulling him over to our ancient table hockey game.

“Best of seven?” he asked with a knowing smile as he sat across from me.

“You know me all too well,” I told him, feeling like we were in our twenties again.
I released the puck onto the plastic ice and another one of our many table hockey games began.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thank You.

The next chapter I will be posting will be the final chapter of Skate Your Lane.
This has been a long journey for me and I'm both saddened and excited to see it come to an end.
I've spent the last four years improving my writing and this story has been a prime example of how far I have come.
There aren't enough words to fully express my appreciation for those who have stuck with this series, through the inspiration and writer's block and a hiatus that I wasn't sure I could come back from. I have made so many friends because of this and I couldn't be happier.
As I head off to college this fall, I plan to continue writing stories and doing what I love.
Hopefully I'll be able to take a few classes to help improve myself even more.

I have so many things in the works when it comes to stories, whether it's ideas in the back of my head or something that I have already begun.
I can only hope that everybody reading this will continue to stick with me and show the same support that they have through this entire series.

Again, thank you so much to everyone.
When I finish writing the chapter, I'll post it as soon as I can.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

SKATE YOUR LANE;; ONEHUNDREDFOUR

ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR:

Standing in one of the extra rooms at the house, I stared in the mirror, looking over my dress.
It was exactly what I had always wanted it to be; strapless, sweetheart necked, mermaid style. It wasn't over the top with beading or lace and it was perfect.
"Sidney is gonna pass out when he sees you," Vienna told me as she helped put my veil over my hair, which was down in loose, wavy curls, and we posed for pictures.
I took a few with her, then Henry came over to me.
"I'm so proud of you, Brie," he smiled, fixing the cuffs of his shirt nervously.
The whole idea of weddings stressed him out. Vienna was dropping hints left and right, trying to get him to propose.
"Thanks Hen. Your day will come, and when it does I want to be your best woman."
"I thought that was already decided!" We laughed as the photographer did this thing, then it was time to start.
My mom handed me my bouquet of pink hidden lilies so she could keep a hold of Oliver, who was in a cute, formal looking onsie.

It was four in the afternoon, everyone was in place, and my dad was by my side.
Looking at each other, we nodded and began to walk down the white carpet that covered the grass to make the aisle.
Sidney and I immediately made eye contact and I knew he was awe struck because I was too.
He looked great in his tuxedo and bowtie that matched my bouquet. Sid had listened to me when I mentioned that I didn't want him to use any hair gel, so his hair was perfect.
After what seemed like forever, my dad let me go and I joined Sidney in front of the priest from the local Catholic church.
Sidney took my hand and I glanced up at him with a smile.

I zoned out when the priest began, taking the time to look at Sidney's entourage. Colby was his best man, while Marc and Carey were groomsmen. I admired how handsome they all looked, then I turned my focus back to Sidney.
He had a certain air about him and everything was just right.
Luckily by the time I tuned back in, it was time for the big moment.
The priest asked Sidney if he would have me in sickness and in health and all of that typical stuff, then Sidney gave me a smile before saying that he did.
The priest asked me the same thing, so I shot Sidney a glance.
"I do," I smiled.
We exchanged rings, and it was obvious that we couldn't contain our excitement.
Both of us were practically glowing.
No one objected, though I swear I saw the thought cross Carey's mind.
"Well then! By the power invested in me by the Catholic Church, I can now happily pronounce you Mister and Mrs. Sidney Crosby," the priest smiled, then Sid and I shared a sweet, wedding appropriate kiss.
I grabbed his hand and led him down the aisle back toward the house as everyone blew bubbles rather than throwing rice.

We had an hour or so to ourselves, while everyone was enjoying hor d'oeuvres outside as the reception was being set up.
"I can't wait for later.. Then I can unlace that beautiful dress of yours," Sidney grinned, twirling me around and admiring my dress.
It was a Pnina Tournei and it laced up the back like a corset, but surprisingly I could breathe and move easily.

While everybody was occupied, Sidney and I got the photographer and went out to the dock.
"So how was your bachelor party?" I asked as the guy took picture after picture.
"It was good," Sidney said, leaning closer so the man couldn't hear him, "I-uh-did shots off of a nice woman named Sherice."
My eyes widened and I let out a laugh.
"Well now I don't feel bad about getting a lap dance from a ripped firefighter," I told him and it was his turn to chuckle.
I couldn't even imagine Sidney at a strip club. I guess the guys had peer pressured him, like the girls had done to me.

At five o'clock, the reception began.
Sidney retrieved Oliver from my mother and then both of our families convened to take pictures.
During the dinner, speeches were made by Colby, Henry, and much to my surprise, Troy.
Henry and Colbs of course told anecdotes, but Troy had much more to say.
"I know I haven't been as enthusiastic as I should have been about this.. But when I see how Aubrie and SId are together and with Oliver, I'm proud of them. So congratulations, and I hope you two only continue making each other happy," Troy said, which made me smile brightly.

I threw the bouquet and Vienna caught it, but Henry put up a pretty good fight.
Sid and I cut our gorgeous buttercreme cake, then tried to get as much of it in each other's faces before we had our first dance.
Seeing as neither of us really dance, it had to have been quite the sight.
My next dance was with my father, then Marc, Henry, and Carey cut in.
"How do you feel?" he asked and I could tell he was proud of me, just like my family and Henry.
"I feel great. Are you having fun?"
Carey nodded, looking over to Sidney, who was walking around with Oliver.
"They're happy too," he mused.
"I know," I smiled, "Thanks for coming and being a part of this."
"Of course! There's no way I'd miss it, you're one of my best friends," Carey told me.
"Really? Carey, that's sweet. I'm glad we're besties."
We continued to talk and dance until Sidney came over with a smile.
"You two have been dancing for a while.. Makes me think you're the ones that just got married!" he laughed.
"I'm sorry man," Carey apologized as he let go of my waist.
"I was kidding, Price. I had some time with Oliver while you guys were here," Sid said, patting Carey on the shoulder.
"Well, I'm gonna go get some of that cake. Congratulations again," Carey told us, shaking Sidney's hand and giving me a hug before wandering off.
"Want to dance?" I asked Sidney.
"Yeah... No," he shook his head with a chuckle.

The reception ended pretty late and we were exhausted.
"I can't believe Oliver stayed up this whole time," Sid mentioned after putting the boy to bed.
"He wanted to be a part of the fun!" I said, watching him fumble with his bow tie.
"I'll undo that if you untie my dress.."
"You don't have to ask me twice!" he grinned, making me giggle.
"Was it everything you wanted it to be?" Sidney asked as we laid in bed at two am.
"It was more than I could have ever hoped for," I nodded.

Our last week in Halifax before Sid had to go to training camp was basically our honeymoon.
We relaxed and had fun in the sun, then returned to our home in Pittsburgh.
By then, we had all of our wedding pictures and the photos with the Cup, so we did some decorating and hung a bunch of them up around the house.
With only a few days before Sid's schedule began to get hectic again, I needed to have a talk with him.
I had spent the morning running errands and when I came home, I found that Sidney had made lunch for us.
I thanked him as we sat down and ate; Oliver joined us too with a cut up PB and J of his own.
"So.. As soon as the season starts, I was thinking about putting him in some kind of day care," I said, nodding to Oliver, who now knew exactly when anyone was talking about him.
"What? Why?" Sidney seemed hesistant, "Aren't you going to be home with him?"
"That's the thing. I can't be a stay at home mom for my whole life. I want to teach some classes at the rink. They need instructors for kid, teen and adult hockey.. I can even do one on one classes," I told him.
"You don't mind leaving him with other people while you do that?" Sidney wanted to clarify.
"Not if we do the research and find a good day care. This really means a lot to me..." I felt like I was begging him to let me do this and I shouldn't have to.
"What if I'm home and all of that? I don't want to be here and have him somewhere else.."
"Sidney. He doesn't have to be there all day, every day. It will only be however many days a week that I teach, for a few hours! I don't understand why this is becoming a debate."
"Nathalie would have no problem watching-" Sidney started but I cut him off.
"No. I'm not pawning him off on the Lemieux's! You honestly have no idea what it's like spending every day couped up inside with a screaming baby. I was practically depressed." I was surprised I told him that. I rarely talked about those months I spent in Sorel.
I didn't want to have a huge arguement so soon in our marriage, so I took a breath.
"I'm going to let you think it over, but I made up my mind," I said, putting my plate in the sink and heading up to our room to do some more research on the day care centers I had looked at while I was out earlier.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SKATE YOUR LANE;; ONEHUNDREDTHREE

ONE HUNDRED AND THREE:

[AUBRIE'S POV]
Max picked Sidney up early on his birthday to go get ready for the huge day ahead of them; they were being flown in by the Canadian Air Force, then there was going to be a parade, followed by a meet and greet with the community.
We were up and ready to go to the harbour by seven am; Sidney wanted to get an early start.
Troy drove us all to the harbour, and we went to get a good spot to watch everything.
"Are you ready for daddy?" I asked a still sleepy Oliver, who simply nestled into my neck more.
"I don't think he cares right now," Taylor laughed, rubbing Oliver's back. She really liked spending time with her nephew.
"He'll perk up when he sees Sidney," I laughed.

When Sid made his big entrance with Max in a tank, he got into an old-style, bright red, fire truck-esque vehicle and the parade began.
Sid and Stanley rode alone, while Max, Oliver and I were in another, followed by several other cars and floats.
"So how awkward was the car ride over here?" Max asked as he held Oliver. He was surprisingly good with the boy.
"It wasn't too bad.. I was kind of shocked," I told him, watching Sidney grinning like a little boy on Christmas.
"I can't wait to see how the wedding goes down."
"It's gonna be fine, don't get ahead of yourself. There won't be any drama or anything..."
I was having a hard time convincing myself that everything would go well on our day.

When the parade ended, Sidney began taking pictures with everybody that wanted one with the Cup.
Max was off taking pictures to, so I took the opportunity to reapply sunscreen to Oliver.
"Hey Brie, Sid's looking for you. He's done with the photo-op," Taylor told me after a while.
"Oh really?" I picked Oliver up and followed her to where Sidney was.
"Hey Siddo!" I smiled, giving him a quick kiss.
"While we've got the camera, I wanted to get a bunch of pictures of us!" Sidney said, taking Oliver and sitting him in the Cup.
Trina had a digital camera and made us pose.
"I didn't get to see you earlier... Happy birthday," I told him as I fixed Oliver's messy hair.
The boy had dark hair just like mine and Sidney's and he was absolutely adorable.
Trina must have taken over a hundred pictures before she let us go do our own thing.
We talked to everyone that came up to us, and we took the chance to figure out who Oliver really looks like once and for all.
Everybody we asked would seemingly say the same thing; at first glance, they would say me. But after a few seconds, Oliver is definitely a little Sidney.
Sid's grandmother even said that Oliver looks like Sidney did as a baby, and of course her opinion was important.
"See! I told you," I laughed, sticking my tongue out at him.
"What's so wrong with thinking he looks like his gorgeous mother?" Sidney asked, making me blush.
"Because he looks like his handsome father. Case closed," I said cheesily and ended our debate.

Trina took Oliver so Sidney and I could meander and socialize with the Cup.
Later in the afternoon after the huge party had ended, we were at Troy and Trina's.
Sidney decided that he wanted to wash Stanley.
"Aubs, come help me," he said, throwing me a towel once he grabbed some dish soap.
We all went outside , the Keepers included, and Max filmed Sidney cleaning Lord Stanley with a garden hose.
"This is one of the strangest things someone has wanted to do.." one of the Keepers admitted and I laughed.
"Sid takes pride in things like this. He's kind of a neat freak," I mentioned, making Max chuckle.
The next thing I know, I'm being sprayed with cold water from the hose.
"Sidney!" I shrieked, wathching him crack up and finish hosing down the Cup.
While I stood and air-dried, I watched Sidney as he carefully dried Stanley. He took such care making sure it was completely spot free before declaring that he was finished.

We got to keep the Cup until around ten that night. It was kind of like hanging out with a friend; we took tons of pictures and did stupid things with it. I noticed how much fun Sidney was having, and as soon as the Keepers left with it, I asked him how he felt.
"I'm ready for another day like this," he smiled.
"Hey Sid, can I talk to you for a second?" Troy asked and Sidney looked to me.
"Go for it. I'm gonna put Oliver to bed. He's got a big day tomorrow!"
We decided to have a small party in Cole Harbour because so much had been going on. It would be too much to go back to Halifax tonight.

[SIDNEY'S POV]
When Aubrie gave me the go-ahead, I followed my dad down to the basement and we took a few shots into the dryer.
"Do you love her?" he asked and I dropped the puck I had been bouncing off of my stick.
"What?"
"I've been thinking about the talk we had yesterday. A lot of your reasoning for getting married had to do with Oliver, and not Aubrie. I'm just curious, because I can tell she is crazy about you," my dad told me. It was weird that he was shoing concern for her.. He never had before.
"Of course I love her. I'd be an idiot not to. I wouldn't be commiting myself to her if I wasn't in love, and I know she feels the same way," I tried to explain how I felt. It was tough.
"Good, because as much as you think that I don't care or that I don't like Aubrie, I do. She's good for you because she challenged you to do your best. I'm sorry if I've made her feel uncomfortable.."
"You need to tell her that yourself," I sad and he nodded in agreement.

[AUBRIE'S POV]
Oliver's birthday party was dinosaur themed, and he seemed to know that it was his day.
Troy had taken the time to apologize to me last night, saying that he had been childish and rude. I told him that it was okay and forgave him for everything. It was nice having that tension disappear.
At Oliver's party, Troy actually interacted with the little boy.
"Would you look at that.." I said to Sidney, who had a smile on his face.
"Did you have anything to do with this?" I asked, watching Troy as he held Oliver and fed him some cake.
"Maybe," he nodded, kissing my cheek.
"Thanks," I smiled as I squoze his hand gently and Max groaned in disgust.
"You two are making me sick," he said, pretending to throw up.
"Oh, come here Maxy," I laughed, giving him a huge hug.
"Don't be getting any ideas," Sidney said to Max, who was apparently making a suggestive face at Sid.
"You can count on me objecting at the wedding," he winked.
"You're uninvited then," Sidney joked.
"Brie, are you going to let him do that to me?" Max asked, playing the kicked puppy.
"No I'm not! I have the final say, so you can come."
The party turned out to be a blast.

Ollie opened presents, had cake, and socialized with his guests. By the time his party ended, he was ready for a nap.
Sidney and I thanked everyone who came, then we put Oliver down to take his nap and went to the living room.
"So after he wakes up we'll head back to Halifax. I have to pick up my dress, then everything will be ready to go," I said, mentally running through the long check list.
"Are you nervous?" Sidney asked, tugging on my hair playfully as we sat on the couch.
"Of course. I'm excited though. Taylor, what do you think?"
The girl had been sitting in the chair beside the couch, watching TV with us.
"I can't wait to have an older sister," she grinned, making us laugh.
"Am I not good enough?" Sidney asked, obviously offended.
"You're cool and everything.. But she can help me do my hair and teach me how to make some sweet saves," Taylor explained.

As the wedding approached, people started arriving in Halifax.
My man of honour, Henry, brought Vienna. Carey, Max, Colby, as well as a ton of other players were spread out around town, as well as Marc-Andre, Vero and our families. We couldn't fit everyone at Sidney's house...
Vero, Vienna and Katie all insisted that I have a bridal shower, where the guys planned to throw Sid a bachelor party.
My parents offered to watch Oliver tonight night, which was only three days before the wedding.
"Have fun at your party," Sidney told me, unsure of what to expect from the party Max, Carey, my brother and a bunch of other guys were planning for him.
"I will. Don't go too crazy tonight. I don't want to find out that you killed a hooker and buried her in the middle of nowhere," I laughed, recalling the movie, 'Very Bad Things'.
"We won't, I promised," he grinned, giving me a kiss before being carted off by the guys.
Soon after, I was commandeered by the girls to a day of spa treatments, manicures, pedicures and the works.
By the end of tonight, I would definitely be ready to walk down the aisle.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SKATE YOUR LANE;; ONEHUNDREDTWO

ONE HUNDRED AND TWO:

[SIDNEY'S POV]
I dropped Aubrie off at the airport after going through her checking and double checking that I knew what to do if and when anything happened. Reassuring the overcautious brunette that everything would be fine, she finally took my word for it and entered the airport.

When I got home, I took Oliver inside and sat on the floor of my bedroom, sitting him across from me.
I stared at Oliver and he stared at me.
"What now?" I asked, unsure of what to do.
It was only 7:30, his bed time was in an hour.
"Goal!" he answered.
I had been using my knee-hockey stick to roll around a tennis ball and keep him busy for a good chunk of time.
It was hard to play with a tennis ball when the dog was nearby; she loved chasing it too. Sam had taken some time to get used to Oliver, but she was surprisingly good with him. She didn't mind him playing with her tail or petting her, which was definitely a good thing.
"How about we get you a bottle and some jammies? It's not playtime now," I told him, not sure if he understood anything I ever said.

Once I got Oliver into a pair of dinosaur pajamas, I got him a bottle and we laid in bed.
I turned on the TV to catch the tail end of the news and they were talking about me.
Still to this day I think it's the weirdest thing that people have so much to say about me. I just do what I normally do; it's no big deal.
"Dad!" Oliver yelled, pointing at the television as it showed a clip of me playing.
"Yeah Ollie, that's daddy!" I smiled.
I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how my career will effect Oliver when he's older.. I don't want kids being friends with him because of who I am, or who Brie is.
The Lemieux kids handle it pretty well.. I can't help but worry though.
I turned on an episode of Friends that I had recorded, knowing Oliver would like that too. I was starting him off pretty young on the whole Friends thing and Aubrie wasn't so enthused by it.
The one thing I couldn't wait for was to teach Oliver to skate.
I can see it now.
It will take a lot of patience and persistance, but he's definitely going to be learning that from me and have a blast.
I can't wait to show him everything I know..
But I don't want to force it down his throat.
He may not even like hockey..
But in a Canadian family, that's practically blasphemy.
When Oliver finished his bottle, he inched his way over to me and I knew what he wanted.
I laid him on my chest and he let out a content noise as I rubbed his back.
The kid had his own personality for sure and knows exactly how to get what he wants from me.

Oliver was up bright and early, maybe in anticipation of our big day together without Aubrie.
Eight am was pretty early for the summer, but I was up for all the father-son time I could get before the season starts.
"Good morning, little man," I grinned at his bright face.
After we had breakfast, we played for a while, taking pictures and sending them to Aubs, knowing they would make her smile.
We took Sam for a walk, then came back for lunch to find Max Talbot waiting outside for us.
"Max, what are you doing here so soon?"
He was supposed to meet me in Cole Harbour tomorrow to partake in the celebration.
"Yeah well I have nothing better to do," he laughed and we went inside.
Max and I had lunch and cracked open a few beers after I got Oliver fed, then we sat on the living room floor while the little guy tired himself out for a nap.
"Sid, I'm seriously gonna kidnap this child," Max chuckled as Oliver sat on his lap and pulled on his shirt.
"Everyone tells me that! I'm gonna have to lock him up at night or something," I answered, shaking my head.
"Hey Oll, what's his name?" I asked in an excited voice, catching his attention.
"What's my name?" Max went along, pointing to himself with a questioning face.
"Max!" Oliver said, hitting him playfully.
"That's right, little superstar!" he grinned, hugging Ollie, who wasn't very enthusiastic about it.
"Ok, ok! Sorry to offend," Max said, letting him go.
"He looks just like Aubrie," he noticed and I nodded.
"That's what I say too! Everyone else thinks he looks like me," I told him.
"They're crazy. He's got your hair though. Everything else looks like Brie to me.. Except maybe his eyes," Max said as he watched Oliver.
"Thanks for pointing that out," I laughed.

Max, Oliver and I were ready for the drive to Cole Harbour, but I had to call Aubrie first because I couldn't find the bag she had packed.
I hated interrupting her time with her family, but we couldn't find it anywhere.
In Cole Harbour, I dropped Max of at his friend's house, then I arrived at my parents.
My mom came out to greet us, taking Oliver while I grabbed our bags, then we went inside.
"Hey," I greeted my sister, who gave me a hug.
"Where's Oliver?" Taylor asked immediately.
"Oh I see how it is! Mom has him," I told her and she went to find mom.
My dad came into the living room and merely gave me a look before sitting on the couch.
"Hi dad," I tried, but he only nodded my way before turning on the TV.
"Whatever," I sighed and left the room.

While I was giving Oliver a bath in the kitchen sink, my mom told me she was going to pick Aubrie up.
As soon as she left, my dad was in the kitchen with a look on his face that clearly showed his annoyance.
"What?" I asked, rinsing Oliver off and wrapping him up in a towel.
"I just don't get you," he told me, "I thought I raised you better."
"Are you saying that 'better' in your opinion would be to abandon him and just forget that he exists?" My dad was ridiculous.
"Sidney.. I just think you need to be smart about this. Don't be an idiot.. It's not just about the baby.."
"His name is Oliver, dad. He's not 'the baby'. What else is it about?"
"You're not ready to get married. I think you should wait a while.. Maybe even rethink it."
"You're kidding, right? I decide whether I'm ready or not, and I know for sure I am You don't get to tell me that I shouldn't be around my son. How could you eve think about telling me to do that? Look at him." I was leaning against the counter and holding Oliver against my chest and drying his hair with the towel.
"I thought that with the way I was raised, you'd be proud that I was taking responsibility and falling into my new role. If you don't want a part of Oliver's life, that's fine. You're gonna regret it though."

I put Oliver to bed in my room then went down to the basement to let off some steam.
It just bothered me that all my dad worried about was my hockey career rather than his grandson.
If I had to, I would give up my career in a heartbeat for Oliver.
I never really expected to feel that way, but the first time I saw him it hit me like a ton of bricks.

When I saw Aubrie come down the stairs, I immediately felt at ease.
She always seemed to do that to me though.
We talked for a bit, then things started getting hot and heavy.
Of course my mom had to ruin our fun though.
"Come on Sid, I want to see my baby!" Aubrie grinned, pulling me up the stairs with her.
I watched her pick up the fussy Oliver and hold him close.
He quieted down, clutching onto her tightly.
"Ma," he mumbled and I saw Aubs light up.
"Did you hear that?" she asked, sitting on my bed.
"I sure did," I smiled.
Oliver hadn't taken to calling her mom, even though he knew me as dad. She was really worried about it and constantly asked me if it was something she was doing.
"Ooh, what happened here?" Brie asked, feeling the small knot on top of his head.
"He hit the table.. I couldn't stop him," I answered, feeling pretty bad about it.
"Oh well. He's gotta learn not to go under tables somehow!"
I was relieved that she wasn't mad that I let him get hurt- even if it was an accident.
"So I take it you had a good day with Ollie?"
"Of course! We had an awesome day for sure," I smiled and told her about what Max had said.
"Max is on crack! Oliver looks exactly like you," she laughed as I shook my head.
"We'll get unbiased opinions tomorrow at the celebration," I told her as she put the now tired Oliver down to sleep.
"Show me around your house! I've only seen your room and the basement."
I led her around and she stopped in the living room, where all of my awards were displayed.
"We have something like this at my parents house too," she mused and I stood behind her, wrapping my arms around her waist.
"We'll have on in our house," I told her, resting my chin on her shoulder.
"Really?"
"I promise. It'll fill up pretty quickly too," I used an adverb, making her turn around and give me a heated kiss.
"I love it when you use proper grammar."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

SKATE YOUR LANE;; ONEHUNDREDONE

ONE HUNDRED AND ONE:

Summer practically flew by, and before we knew it I was getting ready to leave for Sorel.
All of our plans were in place; Sid's day, Oliver's party, and our big day. Everything was ready to go and we were both on pins and needles with excitement.
"Okay, so you've got everything you need for tomorrow, right?" I asked, grabbing my backpack as we ran through the procedure one more time.
"Yes dear," Sidney rolled his eyes, looking at Oliver who was in his arms, "Say, 'Yeah mom!'"
Oliver had become a little chatterbox and as soon as he started trying to walk, we were constantly chasing him around the house.
"Yeah!" Ollie cheered and I laughed, giving my little boy a kiss.
"Kisses!" Sidney chuckled, tickling Oliver and making him giggle.
"Let's take mommy to the airport!"
Driving to the small airport, I triple checked everything with Sidney, making sure he would call me if anything happened.
"I got it! Calm down, everything will be fine," Sidney promised, giving me a hug and kiss after I said goodbye to Ollie.
"Alright. I'll meed you guys in Cole Harbour tomorrow night?"
"That's the plan! I'll miss you.."
"I'm gonna miss you too."
We said our goodbyes, then I went to catch my flight.

Marc-Andre's day with the Cup was hilarious to say the least.
He started off the morning with a bowl of cereal courtesy of Lord Stanley.
"Hey, I can still taste the champagne!" my brother grinned, making us crack up.
After breakfast we took family pictures with the Cup, and Vero was in a few with us too.
Then we went out to the lake, where practically all of Sorel had gathered for the celebration.
I stood on shore in my shorts and a purple v-neck, watching Marc-Andre take the Cup out on his boat through my sunglasses.
"Aubrie?" I heard, and my head jerked to the right, spotting a woman I hadn't seen in years.
"I knew that was you! See mom, I told you I was right," the girl told her mother, and her father simply looked at me.
"Hi Katie.. Gregor, Vivienne," I nodded, smiling at Nate's parents and sister.
"We haven't seen you in so long.. What have you been up to?" Katie asked, "We know what's going on with Marc."
"Uh.. Nothing much.. I've been keeping myself pretty busy though," I shrugged, watching my brother's boat stall, knowing that the rope had gotten caught in the propeller like usual.
"I don't think being engaged to the biggest NHL player and being his baby mama is nothing much," Katie shot.
"We hear all about Sidney from your mother. What's your son's name again?" Vivienne asked bitterly.
"His name is Oliver, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't take that tone with me."
"How can she not?" Gregor asked, "We saw that Crosby propose to you on TV. That should have been Nate."
"Seriously? I'm sorry, but Nate has been gone for three years. You didn't expect me to sit around and be alone for the rest of my life, did you? Sidney is the one for me. I know it seemed like Nate and I would have made it, but I caught him with another girl - we wouldn't have lasted," I told them, even though I knew I didn't have to explain myself.
"I don't know if I'm disappointed or ashamed," the man shook his head and my jaw dropped.
"It's not your place. You're not my family, therefore I don't really care about your opinions of what I do," I told them, "Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to help my brother enjoy his well deserved day with the Stanley Cup."

Throughout the day, Sidney sent me pictures of what he and Oliver were doing.
The most recent was of them with hockey tape on their cheeks like blackout, their hair sticking up like tough guys.
The whole time, I noticed Katie and her parents shooting me looks and probably talking about me, but I didn't care.
This was Marc's day, no one else.
"You know he's probably just using you," Katie said to me as I watched my brother saying goodbye to the Cup before the Keepers took it.
"Excuse me?" I asked, not even looking at the twenty-five year old girl.
"You think it's sheer coincidence that the best NHL player and a promising hockey natural get together and have a kid that is probably going to be the greatest thing on skates."
This girl obviously still felt like it was my fault that Nate wasn't here.
"Katie, don't. Don't start this. Sidney and I are getting married, our son wasn't a coincidence and that wouldn't change even if Nate were alive," I told her, holding my phone as it vibrated; I had a text.
I guess it was dinner time, because this picture was of Oliver and Sid with spaghetti sauce everywhere and I couldn't help but laugh.
Katie shot me a glare and I apologized, showing her the picture message.
"They're really cute," she admitted, "I bet you and Sidney are great together.. Despite what my parents and I think."
"We seriously are. My boys are the best thing that's happened to me in a long time," I nodded.
"I'm happy for you, Brie."
"Thanks," I smiled, giving her a hug and Marc-Andre came over to us.
"Stanley's gone!" he fake sobbed, making us roll our eyes.
"You had a good day though, didn't you?" I asked.
"Yeah.."
"Then shut up!" Katie finished.
"You guys are just as mean as you used to be.. Mom says it's time for dinner."
"Alright!"
I told Katie goodbye, then went with Marc.

Right as I finished dinner, Sidney called me.
"Hey, what's up?" I asked, sitting on the living room couch of my parent's house.
"I'm about to leave for home.. I can't find the bag you packed for Oliver," Sidney sounded stressed.. Like he had looked everywhere he possibly could before calling me.
"It's on a chair in the dining room," I told him, and then I heard a sigh of relief.
"There it is! Thanks babe!"
"No problem. So did you two have a good day? I loved the pictures you sent me.."
"Yeah, it was great! Oliver, don't go under the coffee table," Sidney yelped, then I heard a thud and Oliver started crying.
"Hey I gotta go. He just thunked his head on the table. I love you and I'll pick you up from the airport."
"Okay. Love you too. Give Ollie a hug and kiss for me," I told him, saying bye and hanging up.

When I arrived in Cole Harbour, Trina picked me up instead of Sidney.
We greeted each other warmly, and once we were in her car we got to talking.
"Just wondering, but why didn't Sid come?" I asked, very curious.
"He was giving Oliver a bath before putting him to bed. I didn't want to interrupt him," she told me, "Plus it will give him some time to talk to Troy."
Apparently Sid's father was in an uproar when he got our wedding invitation.
"I know it's crazy that it's so soon, but truthfully Sidney and I are really impatient."
"Oh I believe that!" Trina laughed.
We talked until we got to her home, which I had never been to before.
When we walked in, I heard a sudden clang and jumped.
"Sidney is in the basement," Trina said, showing me the way.
I entered the basement and saw the famous dryer, then I saw Sidney taking shots at it.

"Hey," I announced, barely catching his attention.
"Hi," he nodded, shooting one more puck into the open machine before setting the stick on the wall.
"Your mom said you gave Ollie a bath," I laughed.
"Yeah, well you saw how dirty we got at dinner!" Sidney smiled, pulling me into a hug, "You're a sight for sore eyes."
"What happened with your dad?" I asked, having a feeling that it was bothering him.
Sid let go of me and ran a hand through his hair, making it stick up everywhere.
"Oh just the usual. He yelled at me for being an idiot and throwing my life away, which I'm obviously not doing. I said some things, he said stuff.. Now Oliver is sleeping and I'm down here venting."
"You don't need his approval if you're happy," I told him, picking up the stick he had just put down.
"I know, but it would be nice if he was on board," he said as he watched me scoop up a puck and flick it at the dryer and miss horribly.
"Not as easy as you thought, eh?" Sidney laughed.
"I haven't spent my whole life shooting at it like someone," I retorted, and the next puck I hit went in.
I noticed Sidney giving me a look, so I put the stick back and pulled him in for a kiss.
Pushing him back against the wall, I smiled at the thought of being in control.
"What is this?" he asked, setting his hands on my hips.
"Just a little something," I shrugged, kissing his neck and making him hold back a moan.
"Aubrie," he muttered, making me stop.
"Hm?" I asked, running my fingers through his hair and messing it up even more.
"My parents are upstairs."
"I know. That's the point," I grinned then kissed him roughly.
"You liked when Mario caught us in his kitchen!" Sidney realized.
"Maybe.."
"That's pretty hot, actually," Sid admitted, and we continued what we were doing.
After a few minutes though, Trina came in and ruined our fun.
"Your child is up and he's not too happy," she told us, trying to ignore the fact that she had just stumbled upon her son playing tonsil hockey.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

SKATE YOUR LANE;; ONEHUNDRED [!!!]

ONE HUNDRED:

Sidney and I were in full on plan mode.
We had decided that everything would take place at the house on the lake, and it would be gorgeous.
It was going to be a small wedding and I couldn't be happier.
A few weeks had gone by, and I could tell Sidney was feeling stressed.
He was laying on the floor in the living room and messing around with Oliver, who was investigating Sidney curiously and pulling at his hair.
"So we need to send out the invitations, but we need a date. When do you feel like marrying me?" I asked from the couch. I had papers and forms and everything I needed spread out on the coffee table.
"Any day is fine. Pick one," he answered.
"Sid, this is kind of important. You don' thave any date in mind?"
"I'm sure whatever you pick will be fine."
"Are you serious?"
"What do you want me to say, Aubrie? I'm not in the mood right now," he snapped at me and Oliver fell onto his chest accidentally.
"We both know that this was gonna be stressful. Do you want to push it back to next summer so we can take our time?"
"I don't know.. I do, but I don't," Sidney sighed, moving Oliver off of him, but Ollie wouldn't leave Sid alone.
I saw Oliver standing, then all of a sudden he was on his bottom, a look of surprise on his little face.
"Sidney! Did you just push him?" I gaped, getting off the couch and scooping Oliver up in my arms.
Sidney ran a hand through his hair, sighing.
"I'm sorry.."
"I think you need to go take your frustrations out in the yard. We'll talk about this later," I told him firmly.

I took Oliver upstairs to play and I watched Sidney taking shots at targets he had previously set up out back.
It didn't bother me that he was rough with Ollie.. Sometimes the little guy practically begged to rough house with us.
I hated that Sid took his annoyance out on his son though.. Maybe it was best to wait until next summer to get married.
While Sidney was out shooting pucks, I called Carey as I kept Oliver entertained.
"Aubrie! Long time no talk," he greeted, making me smile.
"Hey Carey. What's happening?"
He filled me in on what he had been up to. He was mainly chilling and causing a ruckus like usual.
"What's up on your end? How's the little dude?"
"He's a ball of constant energy. It's ridiculous," I laughed, watching Oliver motor around the room on all fours.
"How are things with Sid? I saw the proposal.. It was everywhere."
Sidney didn't realize that NBC had been there to tape the entire thing; it aired on ESPN, TSN and everything in between.
"He's stressed. We were going to get married next summer, but we decided to bump it up to the end of this one.."
"Planning isn't going smoothly, huh?" Carey could read my mind.
"Nope," I shook my head, "Oliver don't go in there."
The boy was curiously peeking into the bathroom, but upon hearing my warning he wandered away from it.
"Does he know his name?" Carey asked me.
"I think so.. He seems to know when we address him or talk about him, because he perks up and looks at us."
"Babies are little geniuses," he mused, "I want one!"
"That's what my brother said. I told him he would change his mind after a day of taking care of Oliver by himself."
"I'd be up for that challenge," Carey laughed.
"Maybe you two can take it on together.. See how you do.."
"I accept your challenge. Tell Marc that he's gotta be the chick in our relationship though."
"Oh, okay Carey," I rolled my eyes as I laughed.
Oliver came over, sitting at my feet and staring at me.
"Hey baby boy!" I smiled brightly, hearing Carey chuckle on the other line.
"Oh, so you're invited to Oliver's birthday bash!"
"Really? Cause I'm definitely gonna be there. You having it on his actual birthday?" he asked and Sidney walked into the bedroom, his face red and covered in sweat.
"I'm gonna take a shower," he muttered, heading into the bathroom and closing the door.
"Was that Sid?"
"Yeah, it was. Uh. Oliver's party will be on his birthday. We're gonna mail out invites or something.. I don't know."
"You're stressed out too," Carey mused.
"Of course I am. Sidney obviously doesn't want to help plan our wedding, so I have to figure everything out," I sighed.
"Well you know you can always push it back.. Don't cause any stress where you don't have to. Hell, we can pull a Wedding Singer and I'll come help you!" he offered, which made me smile.
"I'll keep that in mind. I need to put Oliver down for a nap then talk to Sid."
"Ok, call me later."
"Will do." We said bye, then hung up.
"Come on Ollie, let's take a nap!" I picked him up and went to put him in bed for a well deserved naptime.

I quickly made a few sandwiches for lunch before Sidney came down stairs, and we sat at the kitchen table in silence.
"Did you think about it?" I asked quietly, picking at my chips.
"Yeah.. I want to get married this summer. But-" he cut himself off, making me nervous, "I traded my day with the Cup in September for my birthday and I want to do something huge for Cole Harbour."
"Oh.. I see," I nodded.
"And Ollie's birthday is the day after mine. Then when would our wedding be?" Sidney asked.
"I don't know," I sighed, trying to sort everything out in my mind.
"Maybe we can do it right before the season starts, between training camp and opening day," I suggested.
"Let's just have you, me, Oliver and like thirty people including family come on August fifteenth, then we'll have a week between birthdays and the big day."
"If you're up for the crazy, hectic stress, by all means.. But you can't take your feelings out on Ollie like you did earlier," I warned.
"I know.. I'm sorry about that. I wasn't thinking," he apologized and I could tell he meant it.
"Good. Well, once we're done eating we can get back to work. Carey even offered to help if we needed it."
"We just might," Sidney laughed, "I'm so ready for this.

Over the next week, Sid and I got so much done that it was surprising. We mailed out our invitations for Oliver's birthday and our wedding, we got most of the details hammered out and I was feeling pretty good.
We decided to have a small party for Oliver, because it would be a lot easier to deal with.
I found out that Marc-Andre had his day with the Cup on August sixth, and I had to be in Sorel then quick head to Cole Harbour for Sid's day, then host Oliver's birthday.
Sidney had really come into his role as a dad, taking a lot of the stress off of me, and I could tell both Oliver and Sid were benefiting from it.
"So, are you gonna be ok with leaving us here on our own for a day?" Sid asked as he fed Oliver while I made our dinner one night.
"Of course. You guys will have a blast. And if you have any problems, you can just call me."
"I won't have to. We're gonna have an awesome, issue-free time," Sidney smiled, "Aren't we, Oll?"

As we got more and more of the planning done, things became easier for us. We weren't snapping at each other or feeling resentful, which was great for our relationship.
Spending our mornings out on the dock and our afternoons taking Oliver around town, Sidney and I both had glowing tans and were well rested.
This was turning out to be one of the best summers.
"Hey, let's go take Maggie her invitation!" I said to Sid on the first of July.
I wanted his neighbor to attend because she was the sweetest woman ever and helped me through some tough times the last time I was out in Halifax.
I grabbed the envelope while Sid got Oliver and we walked over to her house after lunch.
I rang the doorbell, expecting to see the familiar, bright-eyed woman.
Instead, a man in his mid or late thirties answered.
"Uh, is Maggie here?" I asked hesitantly.
"No, I'm sorry," he replied.
"When will she be back?" Sid questioned, "We live next door.."
"I know. Maggie passed away in January. I'm her son, Ralph."
"Oh.. We're very sorry for your loss," I managed to blurt out," We'll be on our way then.."

While we walked back to the house, Sidney took my hand and squeezed it gently.
"You gonna be ok?" he asked, adjusting Oliver in his other arm.
"Yeah, I guess. She was an amazing woman."
"I know," he tol me and we went into the house.
Sid put Oliver in his play pen and pulled me into a comforting hug.
"Thanks," I muttered into his neck as he rubbed my back.
"Anytime. It's what I'm here for," he answered, giving me a quick kiss.