ONE HUNDRED AND TWO:
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.
"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."