Living Vicariously Through Our Kids


It was a nice Saturday afternoon (for once) and I had just finished coaching my Midget baseball team for the first time. My two daughters, aged 11 and 8, were with me, enjoying the elusive sunshine. They watch the practice, thinking that afterwards we were going home. Boy, did they have a surprise in store.

You see, my little one is a hockey goalie, and, of course, she idolizes Carey Price. She got everything from a poster, to McFarlane toy, to a Canadiens jersey with Price’s name and number stitched on. Just this past February, my daughter’s Novice team got an opportunity to play at the Bell Centre. She got a chance to stand in the same crease as her idol, and look at replays of herself making saves, just like Carey.

On Friday at lunch hour, I was listening to Tony Marinaro on the Team 990, our local all-sports station, and he mentioned that certain Montreal Canadiens would be in attendance at the Brick Furniture store at Marche Centrale in Montreal. Price, Travis Moen and Josh Gorges were going to be there between 3:45 and 5:00 PM. I figured, what better way to spend a Satruday afternoon than to drop this surprise on my kids after leaving the baseball field.

So after we got in the car, I laid it on them. They were both excited, but my little one seemed a little apprehensive. She asked, “Daddy, what do I say to him?” I simply told her to act natural and do whatever comes to mind.

We arrived at the Brick at 4:00 PM. While I was expecting the line to come right out onto the sidewalk in front of the store, I was surprised that it only started inside. I opened the trunk, and got our Carey Price jerseys (yes, we ALL have one) out of the trunk, and put them on. We walked through the front door, and up the escalator into the Brick.

As we proceeded to get into line, and my girls started to lose it. They were bouncing around like Mexican Jumping Beans, trying to get an early glimpse of their hockey hero.  As the line progressed and we got closer, even I got a little nervous. Not because of the fact I was going to be that close to the Habs’ players, but more for my kids. I could only imagine what was going through their minds at that moment.

Then, it was our turn. My youngest turned beet red as she climbed the steps of the little stage where the players were sitting. All three Canadiens’ players had huge smiles on their faces. As my daughters got their autographs, Price looked at me and said, “Hey, how’s int going?” I smiled and answered, “Better, now that this is happening.” All three nodded.

As we posed for a picture. my oldest placed herself between Carey Price and Travis Moen. My little one got in right beside Carey Price, and I stood behind Josh Gorges. As I did, I asked, “So Josh, how’s the knee coming along?” He seemed shocked and surprised. Then he turned and answered, with a big smile, “It’s coming along great. Thanks for asking.” I guess some people are just more interested in getting their stuff autographed than how people are doing after missing what they love doing for more than half a year. Disgusting if you ask me.

Just before the girl at the Brick took the picture, Price put his arm around my youngest daughter’s waist, at which point I could see her freeze up and turned redder than the ripest tomato. I laughed. Moen and Gorges looked over and laughed as well. Then the picture was taken.

As we left the store, I asked my daughters if they enjoyed themselves. My oldest yelled out, “THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!”, while my little goalie walked out, with a smile from ear to ear in stunned silence.

All this to say that, as parents we live very busy lives. However, it is always worth a few minutes to take the time to make our kids happy. It reminds us of what it was to be a kid again, and to live, for a brief moment, vicariously through their eyes.