My heart leapt out of my body and mingled with heaven tonight (and broke at the same time), all because of Brody. Again. I'm still trying to grasp the five-year-old love he kicks out with more intensity than a sandblaster of hearts. It has been his dream to ride a Zamboni since he picked up a hockey obsession (around two years old). In fact, a sweet little story is that every night before he goes to bed, he asks for a "dream." Tom or I then have to tell him a story in which he is the protagonist. Right before we reach the climax, we say, "Keep dreaming..." and the boy refuses to open his eyes because he cannot wait to finish the story cooking in his head. On many occasions, he asks to have a "Zamboni dream" and he wheels around a turbo-boosted Zamboni as a hockey superhero (at least in my version). There is the backstory. He has never had the opportunity to do it (ride a Zamboni...plenty of opportunities to dream, though), and then tonight happened: his chance.
Tonight was the determining game to find out who would be advancing to the CCHA Semifinals: Western Michigan or Ferris State. As soon as Brody walked in, he was asked if he would like to ride the Zamboni. Those old-fashioned cartoons with the zigzags and the fireworks popping out of an expanding heart is the only way to describe his elation.
As we made our way to where the Zambonis are parked, Gideon said, "I WISH I COULD RIDE ON ONE!!!" and his little lip trembled. I explained that when he was a little older, he could do it. Then, Brody stepped in and set my heartcoaster in motion. He said, "He can go in my place." I tried to stop him. I knew how much this meant to Brody. I wanted to cry for him. I wanted to shake him and yell, "NO! THAT'S NOT FAIR!" Instead, he began pealing off his jersey to give to Gideon to wear on the ride. No. This was not going to happen. I was in love with his actions and at the same time heartbroken for my oldest. This was the analogy I've been using to describe Brody since cancer wreaked havoc on our family coming true: "He gladly takes the backseat." Only this time he wasn't even in the car, or Zamboni, in this case. Tom was so proud of Brody, and I can't blame him. Much to my dismay and equal parts jubilation, Brody insisted he go through with the offer. So, I was ecstatic for Gideon's chance to ride, but so crushed for my big guy. So crushed.
Thankfully, The BRONCOS WON in overtime! It was an amazing game, and Brody never once brought up his missed Zamboni opportunity. I thought for sure once he processed it, he would cry or something. But he didn't. He was just thrilled with the win. Western's next stop is the Joe Louis Arena!