Last Saturday was the big day. The day Gavin had been waiting for! The day to MEET JAMES REIMER!
He was supposed to spend the day resting up for a late night.
But instead he spent the day getting pumped up for the big game!
There was so much anticipation in the weeks leading up to March 26, and then when the day finally arrived he had to wait until after dinner... And when it was finally time to leave, he had to wait for traffic... And then when we finally got there we had to wait for our tickets...
In reality, we didn't wait long at all. It all unfolded pretty quickly actually! But for a three and a half year old, it must have felt like an eternity.
I really wish Gavin could write about this day in his own words. It was his day. His dream come true. But I will do my best to tell his story. And I will let the pictures say the rest.
Gavin & I arrived at the Air Canada Centre in our blue & white, full of excitement!
I wish I could have captured the look of pure awe on his face as he walked up the stairs and entered the arena for the first time.
We found our seats and before long I saw the beautiful Mrs. Reimer coming towards us with a bag in her hand. She greeted Gavin with a "hey handsome!" and a big smile. She was so incredibly friendly and generous. I can't even thank April enough for everything she did to make Gavin's dream come true. She totally went above and beyond for him.
The bag in her hand was full of gifts! Including a real James Reimer #34 Leafs jersey for Gavin! And a James Reimer mini goalie stick! And even a Reimer shirt for me! As well as some pictures of James to get autographed after the game!!
Gavin was right into the game. He was the loudest fan in our section, yelling, "GO LEAFS GO! GO LEAFS GO!" and clapping and cheering. He was soaking up every detail, right down to the guys who come out with shovels to clear the ice.
With his new jersey and goalie stick he felt more like Reimer than ever!
After the first period, April came back with snacks and drinks! (She really is the sweetest ever.) Gavin was enjoying the M&Ms but instead of polishing off the bag, he told me he wanted to share them with James Reimer. (Gavin sharing candy?? Wow, he must really love the guy!)
It was a close game and it had us on the edge of our seats cheering on our Leafs! After going into overtime and then shoot out, we ended up losing, but it didn't even matter. It was time to meet James Reimer and despite how late it was, Gavin had more energy than ever!
April can attest to that! She brought us to the wives and family lounge where she kicked off her heels and took shots on Gavin until he was so hot and sweaty that he started stripping down to his undershirt. I guess you could say that he made himself right at home!
But there was more waiting in store for Gavin, because James still had to work out after the game, shower, and do whatever else it is that guys do after a hockey game.
Finally, April announced that she saw James walking down the hall. Gavin instantly ran out of the room and met James with a giant bear hug. James is so tall that Gavin had his arms wrapped around his legs and then barely even give him a chance to come in the room or introduce himself before passing him a stick and asking him to play hockey.
Gavin had been asking us for weeks if he would be able to take shots on James Reimer. We kept telling him we didn't think so. But there he was, right in front of me, doing exactly that. It was pretty surreal.
I can say nothing but wonderful things about Mr. & Mrs. Reimer! They treated Gavin so incredibly well and really made him feel special. Gavin gave James his half-eaten bag of M&Ms (just what he always wanted, I'm sure!) as well as a pair of custom Lucky Fin Bracelets in blue and white for the lovely couple.
Soon it was time to say goodbye but not before James presented Gavin with one of his actual game sticks to take home!!!! It has puck marks and everything!
As we finally started making our way out of the ACC, Gavin's legs gave out on the stairs and he had to be carried to the car. He was soon fast asleep and didn't even wake up when I brought him inside, took off his Reimer jersey and tucked him in. I watched him sleeping for a few seconds and I had a pretty good idea of what he was dreaming about. But this time it wasn't just a dream. It really did come true.
So I just want to say, "God bless you too, James & April Reimer! Thank you for making my little boy's dream come true!! We will never forget it!"