Shortly before the game started, Lewis poked his head out of the tunnel that leads from the locker rooms to the ice, so Jack and I went over to say hello. Since the game was about to start, Lewis was in full gear: skates, monstrous shoulder pads, beefy socks, a helmet with cage, and of course, his stick. As soon as we greeted him, Lewis said hello to Jack and offered him a big smile. I turned to Jack just as he was opening his mouth to give his pop a cheeky grin back -
And watched him scream in terror instead.
This was a noise I had never before heard escape my baby's throat. Not to mention one that I hope to never hear again. Jack did not appreciate something about Lewis' getup. Thinking it might be the helmet cage, Lewis took that off, and Jack was just fine. Until Daniel came out of the locker room.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
|In the future, when Jack love sports like his mommy and daddy do, |
we are going to show everyone this picture and tell them this story.
Jack was as happy as a clam during the game. He flirted with some of Daniel's friends that came to watch. He tried desperately to catch the eyes of the fans sitting behind us (no luck - they were serious about the game). He giggled ferociously as his uncle Andrew tickled him. He blew zerberts on my cheeks. In other words, he was regular Jack.
Then the game ended (in victory) and Daniel skated over to say hello. We were sitting about seven or eight rows above the penalty box, so Daniel skated right in to that. Apparently the distance, glass wall, and fact that Daniel had already taken off his helmet and cage didn't matter to Jack. He absolutely, positively freaked out.
As Lewis was going into the tunnel, he waved us over. He apparently did not see Jack's reaction to Daniel mere moments before. I took Jack over cautiously. Instead of meeting him at the bottom, we looked down on him from the top of the bleachers. That was still too close for Jack. As soon as he spotted his father, he made a sound I've come to associate with banshees and began sobbing uncontrollably into my shoulder.
In the lobby we waited for Lewis and Daniel to change back into their street clothes. After all he had been through that night, as well as the fact that we were now multiple hours past his bedtime, Jack was more than a little clingy. He wasn't crying anymore, but you could forget about anyone else holding him. That is until Lewis came out of the locker room and joined us. As soon as he saw him, Jack dove into his arms and snuggled right in.
Here is our theory as to what brought on the fear: We think Jack saw his dad in all those pads and gear and maybe thought something was attacking Lewis. All he could see of Lewis that was familiar was his head. When we were up close, that was enough to settle him. But when we were far away, looking down on Lewis from above, all Jack could see was his daddy's face on top of fatty pads. And then when Lewis came out of the locker room after the game, Jack went to him for reassurance. He needed to see that his dad, his buddy was okay. It was a heart breaking, and then heart warming evening.
Except Jack was still scared of Daniel. We'll work on that.