Gold in Montreal!

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Nov 30, -0001 12:00 AM
Thursday, March 1, 2012

Well, all I can say is, "Phew." Mommy Jingles and her two boys are back home from Montreal, where the CAPS Atom B All-Star team competed in one of the Canadian Hockey Enterprises hockey tournaments.

As with any team adventure, our trip was filled with lots of excitement! We got off to a booming start in St. John's, on the runway. With several families travelling on the same flight the plane was buzzing with laughter. It was here, zooming down the runway, where our plane suddenly slammed on the brakes and abruptly halted to a stop; now, for those of you who love to fly, this would be nothing more than a blip. However, for others (like myself) it was not. At this point my nerves were officially gone, and the over zealous passenger next to me was not helping the situation.

"Probably something with the de-icing," she says. "Good thing they figured that out. You wouldn't want the plane to drop out of the sky!" she adds...loudly! My younger son, who can become anxious at times, hears this and proceeds to ask a series of questions that only makes my own anxiety even worse. As I smile and tell him it's nothing serious and we'll be in the sky soon, my "sidekick" continually interrupts me, adding in some hodge podge unbefitting that of a nervous nine-year-old (and his mother).

Before we knew it we were in Montreal, all luggage and children accounted for and settled at the hotel. I don't know if the bags were dropped in the room before a full-throttle game of mini-sticks roaring in the hallways. It's always amusing to see how long, tiny rubber balls can be propelled through the air before someone complains to management. Those first few hours in a hotel are vital in setting the tone of what's to come. And, lucky for us, the tolerance level of the hotel staff and other patrons were quite good with regards to mini-stick marathon. As for the continual raiding of the ice machine? It turns out other people on the floor wanted ice too, yet, they were forced to plan strategic maneuvers in order to outrun our kids!

Over the next four days, there was power-shopping, eating out, interesting bus drivers, many back logs at the elevator, but most importantly, some amazing hockey. A group of 17 kids came together with finesse. They were passing, taking their time, talking to each other and working together...they had become a team!

Moms and Dads yelled and cheered, nails were bitten, nerves were gone, camera flashes fired. In the end, our CAPS Atom B team went undefeated coming home with the gold medal.

Like a scene from the Olympics, the players wore their medals with pride and beaming smiles. They proudly circled the ice displaying the Newfoundland flag and their winning trophy as parents watched with pride and joy. It was a moment we'll all remember.

Hours later, my boys and I, along with several other team members, made our way down St. Catherine's Street toward the Bell Centre. Sporting jerseys, hats and other
paraphernalia, we were off to our first NHL Game. The Montreal Canadiens were playing the New Jersey Devils and I was taking my two boys. What better way to finish off a gold medal day?

The seating in the Bell Centre reminded me of being on top of a roller coaster and never going over the top, and of course, the food was outrageously priced. However, the looks on their little faces were well worth the nausea and indigestion. "Mom, I can't believe we're at an NHL game, this is amazing!"

The opening theatrics were quite the spectacle (for my standards at least). As for the game itself...well, I'm sure it was an off day for both teams. Nonetheless, it was a great time with my kids!

The gold medal game of mini-sticks continued in the hotel halls until late in the night. When, finally, our little champions were asleep and the parents enjoyed one last evening together; as the saying goes, "All good things must come to and end".

Within 24 hours of landing, I had two very sick boys who then missed an entire week of school after being taken down by the flu (or something). Stomach pains, migraines and vomiting were the finishing touches on a fantastic adventure. Now, a week later, I think I'm fully recovered. Yet, a little voice reminds me, "Only six weeks till Gander and then P.E.I. Mom!, Woohoo!"

Sigh...Bring it on, Kid.