Sunday, November 22, 2009

SKATE YOUR LANE;; NINETYEIGHT

NINETYEIGHT;;

I felt everyone's eyes on me as I tried to speak, then I cleared my throat.
"Yes, of course!" I finally smiled, leaning over the Cup and giving him a kiss.
I could see the cameras flashing out of the corner of my eye as Sidney slipped the ring onto my finger, and nothing but this moment mattered.

The rest of the night whirled by, as if it was some sort of crazy dream.
My mother had taken Oliver so I could be free to celebrate in the dressing room, sipping champagne and watching Sid chug from the Cup, as well as Disco Dan and all the guys.
The night was filled with congratulations, for both winning the Cup and our engagement, and I still couldn't get it through my head that either had happened.

Upon our arrival back to Pittsburgh, the guys told Sid to take the cup, so we loaded it into the Range Rover and drove home.
I carried a sleeping Oliver in while Sidney took care of Lord Stanley, and we both walked upstairs.
After putting Ollie to bed, I went into our room to see it standing at the foot of the bed, with Sidney just staring at it.
"You seriously earned that this season," I smiled, sitting on the ground and inspecting all of the familiar names of both the past and present.
"It wasn't that long ago that you told me I'd have it when we were at the Hockey Hall of Fame," Sidney muttered, "I never thought it would be so soon.."
"Be proud that you did, 'youngest captain ever',' I laughed, quoting the commissioner.
"Oh trust me, I am," he nodded.
"So am I gonna have to sleep on the couch or something? I have a feeling you don't want that out of your sight," I said as I ran a finger over Bobby Orr's name, feeling chills rush through me.
"I don't want to put you out.."
"No, I'm totally fine with the Stanley Cup stealing my spot tonight. You just have to make it up to me later," I winked.
"Man.. If the Cup could talk," Sidney laughed, shaking his head.
"It would need a lot of therapy," I finished, "It's probably seen some messed up stuff.. Which will not be including us."
I changed into my pajamas, kissed Sid goodnight then headed to bed in the guest room.

Marc-Andre and my parents came over bright and early, before Sidney or Oliver were even up.
"So, where did you sleep last night, ah?" Marc asked, following me upstairs.
"Not in my bed, that's for sure," I laughed quietly, pushing the bedroom door open so he could see Sid laying beside the Cup.
Marc pulled out his phone, snapping a picture, trying to hold in a laugh the whole time.
"Shut up, Marc!" I shushed him, heading to Oliver's room.
"Oh, good morning, little guy!" I greeted, noticing that he was awake.
Marc-Andre swooped in and picked Oliver up before I could.
"He's mine now!" my brother laughed maniacally, tickling Oliver.
"Go ahead, you see what it's like! I doubt you'll be able to make it a day."
"We'll just see about that!"
"Maybe you could watch him for a weekend during the summer," I suggested.
"That'd be cool," he nodded, "Oh, and we better get Sid up. The Keepers are coming soon to take the Cup. Mario's throwing a huge party at his house tonight!"
"Okay, well. You wanna take Ollie downstairs and get him fed?"
I watched my brother grin.
"Definitely!" he said in his always enthusiastic accent, quickly disappearing as I wandered to my room.

"Siddo, it's time to wake up," I said, pushing his shoulder gently, nudging him awake.
"No! I had the best dream ever.. We won the Cup and I asked you to marry me," he muttered sleepily.
"That wasn't a dream," I said and his eyes shot open.
First he glanced at me, then to the Cup, which was resting peacefully at his side.
"Is this one of those weird dreams within a dream?" he asked, still not believing it.
"It's reality. Get dressed and bring Stanley downstairs with you. Mes parents et Marc-Andre etes ici.. They're in the kitchen. The Cup Keepers are coming by soon to retrieve their friend," I told him before going down to the kitchen.

My family left later that afternoon, then Sid and I began getting ready for Mario's party.
Oliver was down for a nap so he wouldn't be fussy.
"Would you please wear this?" Sidney asked, holding up one of my two piece swimsuits.
"No!" I laughed, "I don't plan on swimming."
"Who cares? I'll throw you in if you don't war this."
"Fine. Toss it here," I gave in.
I got into the bathing suit, wearing some jean shorts and a racerback tank top over it; even if I was a mom, I could still dress my age.
Upon exiting the bathroom, I felt Sidney's gaze on me as I slipped on my sandals.
"What?" I asked finally, setting my hands on my hips in annoyance.
Sid, who was in swim trunks and a polo, shot me a look that said it all.
"Nothing! Can't I look at my fiancee?," he stressed, smiling the whole time.
"Not the way you are right now or else we won't get to the party. I'm gonna go wake Ollie up."
When I got to Oliver's room, I noticed that he was oddly warm.
"Hey Sid, come here," I called, picking my boy up and feeling his forehead again.
"What's up?"
"I think he has a fever?" I said, unsure, "Will you call my mom?"
My mother said that it was probably from teething, and that he was in no condition to go out.
She and my father decided to come over so we could still go to the party, and I was extremely grateful.

"You know what? This is the first time we've really gone anywhere without Oliver in a long time," I mused as we walked up to the Lemieux's front door.
"I know! It's so weird," Sidney laughed.

[SIDNEY'S POV]
A few of the guys and I stood close to the Cup and drank some beers, watching th rest of the party.
"So dude, I know you thought she'd say no," TK told me with a laugh.
They had been giving me a hard time about it.
"Shut up!" I said, trying to laugh it off. I hated that people knew about my doubts and fears.
As we talked, I scanned the party; the pool was filled with kids and their dads, which made me think of Oliver.
My attention turned to Aubrie, who was talking animatedly with Tanger.
The sun started to set, and I noticed Aubrie making her way over to me.
"Hey stranger," she smiled, hanging her sunglasses from the neckline of her shirt.
"Long time no see!" I winked back, earning a thumbs-up from Max, who stood a few feet behind Aubrie.

When we all sat down for dinner in the huge backyard, I could tell Aubrie was getting antsy.
"What's up?" I asked; she had been checking her phone nonstop.
"I'm waiting for my mom to text me back with a report on Ollie."
"She will. Just put your phone away and eat," I told her and she nodded.
Of course I was concerned about Oliver, and I knew he was in good hands. Aubs needed to take it off of her mind, even if for only a few hours.
"So when do you think you'll want the wedding to be? And we have to pick a place..." I started, pulling her thoughts elsewhere.
"Well, not this summer or during the season.. Maybe next summer?" she asked, unsure of the idea.
"That sounds good. Would you want it here or Sorel or what?"
Aubrie shrugged.
"I kinda thought maybe someplace different? But I would have no problem if it were in Halifax or wherever.."
"Well, we've got plenty of time to decide, that's for sure," I said, making her smile.
"I'm excited for this," Aubrie told me, taking a sip of her water. Since I was drinking, she was my designated driver.
"Me too," I grinned.
"Oh, and you know how you said that it wasn't the best time when you, you know.. Proposed?" she asked, almost unable to say the word.
"Yeah? It was weird, wasn't it? I knew I should have waited.."
"No! It was the perfect time. I couldn't have imagined it any better."

Monday, November 2, 2009

SKATE YOUR LANE;; NINETYSEVEN

NINETYSEVEN;;

It was exhilarating after the Penguins eliminated the Capitals and even more so when they beat Carolina in a sweep. I had been a little nervous about taking Oliver with me on those two road games, so I chose not to attend, but I kept Sidney's routine on track no matter what.
My parents had come to stay with us at the beginning of the Carolina series, and Sid's parents and sister were at the condo, so I was busy trying to keep everyone happy and eliminate as much tension as possible.
Oliver loved being with my parents; he was starting to spout off a word or two a day, either in French or English.

The day after making it to the Final, Sidney and I had a talk about just that.
"I'm curious as to whether or not he can tell the difference between the two, you know?" Sid asked as he changed Oliver out of his pajamas and into some play clothes.
"I've read some stuff, but I guess you just don't know.. I mean, it worked with me. Marc-Andre, well.... He's just crazy," I laughed, "We can talk to my mom. She'll know more."
We discussed this over lunch, then Trina and Troy brought Taylor to the house so they could go do whatever they were going to go do.
"Hey, Taylor," I greeted cheerfully, watching her wave back somewhat unenthusiastically.
"Tay," Sidney warned from my side, shooting her a 'big brother' look.
My mother asked the girl if she wanted anything to eat, but she declined.
Although I enjoyed having a house full of people, I preferred those quiet times with Sidney and Oliver.

I noticed that Taylor seemed put off and almost annoyed by Oliver, so I intervened.
"Would you do me a favour and run up to Ollie's room and grab his pacifier? I meant to grab it earlier..."
The girl nodded hesitantly, disappearing up the stairs.
When Taylor returned to the living room, I saw a bright look on her face due to the wrapped box in her hands with her name on it.
"What is this?" she asked, handing me the pacifier and I shrugged.
"A little present from me to you."
I had gotten her a new Roberto Luongo jersey, and I could tell she was excited.
"My old one is so ratty.. I've been saving up for this. Thanks."
"Well I don't get to see you very often! You're a great girl, and you're welcome," I smiled, knowing she now was genuinely excited to be here. Sometimes a little incentive is all it takes to make an awkward situation a bit more bearable.
"Where's Sid? I want to show him my new jersey!" Taylor grinned and I looked around.
"I'm not sure.. I'll find him though," I laughed, picking up Oliver as I stood up from the couch, walking into the kitchen.
"Have you seen Sid.. and dad for that matter?" I asked my mom, who pointed to the door that led outside.
I peeked into the backyard, spotting Sid and my father messing around with hockey sticks and some pucks, shooting them at a big tree in the yard.
"Dad, stop trying to show Sidney your tricks. They're circa-1976," I told him with a giggle, walking out into the bright sun.

The Final started in Detroit on May 30th, and we were all there to cheer the guys on. It was hard to watch the two straight losses knowing Sidney and everyone else was trying their hardest.
The crowd in Detroit was ruthless; one woman told me I was a horrible mother for dressing Oliver in a Penguins outfit.
I would have beaten the crap out of her if I hadn't of been bringing Ollie back from the restroom, so I verbally abused her instead. I wasn't going to stand around and let someone bash the my brother, Sidney, or any of the Penguins for that matter.

I guess Oliver had picked up on the tension in the air; he was fussy all Monday, crying nonstop and stressing me out even more than I had been due to the series.
I knew Sid felt bad when I made him leave to go to practice, but he didn't need to be around a screaming baby when game three was tomorrow.
When Sid left for practice, Oliver and I were alone. My parents were at Marc-Andre's and Sid's were at the condo, and I was at my wit's end.
"Oh Ollie... What can I do to make you stop?" I begged, rocking him gently in my arms as I paced his room, trying to get the boy to quiet down.
I spent the whole time Sid was gone trying to figure out a way to soothe Oliver, but I hadn't succeeded by the time one o'clock rolled around.
"Hey, I'm back!" Sidney called out.
"No, go back to practice," I said, walking down the stairs.
Oliver had been pulling my hair for the last half hour.
"Oh, come here buddy!" Sid took Oliver, holding the boy securely against his chest.
"Why are you giving mommy such a hard time?" he asked, rubbing Oliver's back as his cries began to die down, eventually silencing.
"How did you do that?" I asked in amazement.
"Magic touch, remember?" Sidney smiled, "I think he's ready for a nap."

Games three and four at Mellon without a hitch, two wins in a row, which was unfortunately followed by a total blowout in Detroit. Marc-Andre was frustrated with himself beyond belief, but it was better for him to let all of his mistakes happen during one game rather than over several. He was on lockdown for Game Six.

The entire time during Game Seven, I was on the edge of my seat, as was everyone else. The team was a little deflated by Sidney's sudden injury, which was what worried me the most. How was he going to hoist the Cup if he could barely skate a shift? And I didn't feel as if I was getting ahead of myself by saying that. I had a feeling in my gut that this was their night.
Maxime was on a mission, having scored both goals for the Pens.
As nerve racking as the game was, the last six seconds was the worst.
We had all moved down to the walkway to the ice, the game at 2-1 in favour of the Pens, and when the final buzzer went off in Joe Louis Arena, my heart nearly stopped.
I held onto Oliver tightly as I watched the team celebrating, a huge smile on my face.
They had done it. The Penguins won the Cup.
I watched the Red Wings start lining up for handshakes, and eventually the guys went through the line, Sidney being one of the last few.
I was standing with my parents, who were muttering to each other in French about how proud they were of Marc, who had the biggest look of relief in his wide eyes.
We had played "Game Seven Overtime" in our basement so many times... Now it was his reality.

The arena had quieted down; Detroit fans looked on in disbelief as Gary Bettman presented the beautiful Stanley Cup to the "youngest Captain ever to hoist it" and the Penguins, then posed for a few photos, finally allowing Sidney to lift the Cup over his head, a look of pure bliss written all over his face.
He skated it around the rink, kissed it, then handed it off to Papa Guerin, who continued on with it.
By this time, the player's wives and families were on the benches and a few were brave enough for the ice, including myself.
I took in the sight of the Cup easing into everyone's hands like it weight nothing, and after what felt like forever, Sidney skated up beside me.
"Hey there," he grinned, taking Oliver and hugging him, kissing me briefly.
"I'm so proud of you!" I smiled, "How's your knee?"
I was still worried.
"What? Oh, it's ok right now, thanks. Hey, I gotta go get something from my mom," he told me, skating off to the bench with Ollie, who was emitting a small laugh; he loved when we skated with him.
I went to talk to Vero, who was nearly in tears while she watched Marc-Andre with the Cup. It was so exciting to finally see his dreams come true.

While the guys were taking pictures with their families and the Cup, Sidney had come back to get me for ours.
"Come on! I already got one with my family, now it's our turn!"
Sidney sat Oliver in the Cup, and I approached it almost carefully, setting my hand on it only to keep Ollie stable. It felt electrifying to touch such a piece of coveted hockey history.
We smiled as the cameras flashed, and once they were done, I watched Sidney pull something out of his hockey shorts, which was really weird.
"I know this probably isn't the best time.. But I thought it would mean a lot if I did it now.." he said, and I gave him a weird look, noticing that those nearby us were watching intently, including both of our families and a lot of the guys.
"Aubrie, will you marry me?" Sidney asked, revealing a little box that held a gorgeous ring.
I was so overwhelmed by this whole scene that when I opened my mouth to speak, nothing came out.