My son Blake was off to his very first Leaf game. Somehow, somewhere, my husband had scored two seats. Blake knew how hard it was to get NHL tickets in Toronto, and this game had been on the calendar since early fall. Not only were they on a Saturday night in December, kind of a fitting holiday-time, but they were against my son’s favourite (ahem) team – the Canucks.
So Dad dressed in Leafs jersey, son dressed in Canucks, off they went. This was no ordinary let’s get down to the ACC just before puck drop. Oh no, this was an EVENT. Right after Blake’s own hockey game ended, they jersey-ed up and drove downtown. Hockey Hall of Fame was the first stop, followed by a genuine ‘sports bar’ experience, and then to the Air Canada Centre.
The game started at 7:30 but my hockey fans were in their purple seats, 3 rows from the rafters, by 6:00pm. They sat there for 45 minutes, while Blake asked every question imaginable - about the players, the arena, the cotton candy, the scalpers (!) and his excitement started to build for the big game. Then, something amazing happened.
A couple approached Craig and Blake (who were likely two of the only people in their section so early!) and said “we’d like to offer you our seats. Every Christmas we exchange seats with someone who we think would really enjoy them”. And in complete stupor, Craig and Blake were escorted down to the Platinum section, on the glass, right behind the Canucks goalie. I’m not sure either could speak other than to say thank you and hand over their purple tickets in exchange.
I got a frantic, noise-filled phone call around this time from Craig. “Tape the game! We’re right behind Luongo! Someone gave us their seats!” I’ll be honest, I’m not really a hockey fan other than enjoying my own sons’ games, but I watched every move of the crowd that game, and sure enough saw my seven year-old hockey fan and his equally hockey-mad dad cheer, jump, and pretty much have the night of their lives.
It would have been a great night up in the rafters, too, but what a special and incredibly thoughtful thing that a wonderful couple do each year – make a little boy’s first NHL game one he will never forget. We’ll be writing some thank you notes today, and as a family, making sure this experience reminds us that we can all reach out to others and make their days a bit more special, whenever we get the chance.
This guest post was brought to you by momstown mama Ally, her son Blake, and the kindness of strangers.