Saturday, 18 May 2013

Experience Of A Lifetime

We have been so excited all week, knowing that we would be a special role to play in the Hawks V Giants game today at Aurora Stadium.  Last night when Harri went to bed he said he was too excited to sleep.  He was excited and I was starting to get nervous, knowing that I would be tossing the coin in front of thousands of people (live and watching on TV).   Having some funny friends making hilarious comments on Facebook to me all night about all the things that could go wrong, didn't help :)

Harri woke up early and couldn't wait to get dressed.  All morning he kept saying 'why is this day going so slow!?'.  It was finally time to head to the game and Harri couldn't wait to get there.  It was so nice to see some people that we know from the kids ward who were collecting money for Give Me Five For Kids. 

When we arrived we met Emma who works for Hawthorn, who we already know.  She took us straight to the Hawks changing rooms and let us spend some time in there watching them warm up.  The boys that thought was so cool, and loved watching their pre-game routine.



Harri was mesmerised watching his heroes.

He was lucky to be given some socks, shorts and a top that matched what the players were wearing that day, and he even got to keep them!  He went and got changed, and was then ready to run through the banner with them.
He was so nervous and kept asking lots of questions about what he had to do, and where he had to run.  Emma was great at explaining it all to him and letting him know that he didn't have to worry, and that she would be waiting for him after he had run through and would walk back with him.

 We all felt very special today with lots of different photographers taking our photos. 

Jay and Harri were lucky to be in the guard of honour as the Hawks ran past.  They were given matching tops to wear too, but they didn't get to keep them.
This morning Kobe said 'why do we get to do it Mum? Is it because Dad and Noah died'.  I told him that it was and because people want us to have something special to look forward to because we've had lots of sad things happen, and it's nice to have some happy things happen, and he said 'that's good isn't it Mum'.

The Hawks started coming out and it was finally Harri's turn to run through the banner with them.
Emma quickly introduced Harri to Hodgey and he handed him a ball as they started to run out together.  It was so cool to hear them calling out Harri's name over the microphone, telling people that he was the Hawks mascot today.

It was lovely to watch some of the players ruffle Harri's hair or give him a pat on the back before he ran through with them.  I don't think they would've even known why he got to run through with them or what has happened.
 
Hodgey grabbed some of the banner and handed it to Harri to keep as they were running. 
 Tonight he was telling me how fast they ran.
Emma told Harri that they would do a little bit of stretching and he could wait with them and then he should look out for her, so he could run back over to her.
He did a great job, especially as he was getting so nervous about it.
Emma also grabbed some of the banner for him to keep, which he is so excited about.
 It was so nice seeing him so happy and excited about it.
It was then my turn to go out to the middle and toss the coin. Brayley who also works for Hawthorn explained to me how it all worked and walked me out to meet the umpire. The umpire then introduced me to the captain of GWS and he was lovely and told me his name was Callan as we shook hands.
He then went to introduce me to Hodgey and said 'this is Lisa' and Hodgey and I just smiled at each other as I'm sure he already knew that I knew who he was (especially since I had his number on the back of my geurnsey!) and I shook his hand and laughed and said 'Hodgey' :)
The umpire joked with me about not having a dodgy coin, as someone a few weeks back had a double sided coin which was heads both sides! I was expecting that they would have some kind of AFL coin, but I was just given a regular 20 cent piece from Brayley to use.
The captain of GWS called 'tails' and it was heads which meant Hodgey won the toss. I didn't even have to rig it :)
Before I got to the stadium I was feeling very nervous, but once I got there I was just excited for the boys and knew that it would be fun. I just hoped I didn't trip over or do something silly, so I was glad when it was over and I knew I didn't make a fool of myself.  Supposedly they also announced over the microphone that I was tossing the coin, but I was too excited about getting to shake Hodgey's hand, that I didn't hear it ;)
We then headed over to our seats to sit with my Mum and Aaron's Dad to watch the game. 
The game was a good one with Hawthorn winning easily, which is what was expected since GWS is still a new team to the AFL.
After the game we were excited that the crowd was allowed to go on the ground to have a kick. Harri was hanging out for it all day and it was fun watching the boys in the crowd of hundreds of others, kicking the ball around. It was just as the sun was setting and the clouds looked beautiful over the stadium. 
We had the best day and know how lucky we were to have an experience of a lifetime.  Tonight Harri was really emotional about it and actually came out of bed crying. I asked him why he was sad and he said he wasn't sad but felt like he was really special, because he got to do something so special today. I told him he was special and reminded him how lucky he was that he got to do it. I could tell that he really understood how special it was and know he'll never forget that he got to run on the ground with some of his heroes.
All day I kept thinking how much Aaron would've loved it.  Thank you again Tash from the kids ward at the hospital and Hawthorn Football Club for allowing us to have such a special day.  Thanks also to Simone and Alison for taking photos for us.  You both captured some awesome moments.

22 comments:

  1. What a great experience for you all. The smiles in the last picture say it all :)

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    1. It was so good! We had the best day :)

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  2. What an awesome post. Enjoyed reading about your experience so much. I just wish they had shown it on TV here in Adelaide so I could have looked out for you. What a wonderful experience and such a nice memory to have.

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    1. Thanks. I wished we got to see it on TV too, but I now have a video of Harri running through the banner which is great :)

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  3. It was a wonderful day, and Aaron would have been so chuffed to see you all out on the field, and especially to see how Harri looked so proud to be running out there with some of his heroes.
    I was thrilled to hear your names over the loudspeaker.
    Go the HAWKS!!!!
    Love Mum.
    Xxx

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  4. Experiencing things together as a family are the best memmories! Looks like you all had an amazing day together. So happy for all of you!!! ~Lisa from Oregon, USA

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    1. Thanks Lisa. It was a wonderful day.

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  5. Bawling like a baby reading this. Love, Love, LOVE it :)

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    1. Bummer you couldn't be there. Aaron would've loved it hey :)

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  6. Love it, what a great day and memory this will make!

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    1. Definitely something we will never forget :)

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  7. Even though I'd never heard of the Hawks before I started reading your blog I can so relate to this post! My daughter is a HUGE fan of a women's college basketball team here and she's had so many opportunities to meet the team etc. that they know who she is and she just loves that. She keeps all their stats, knows all about them etc. It's a great feeling, as a parent, to see your child so excited and happy. Great post.

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    1. Isn't it lovely when your kids heroes make an effort with them. Something very special.

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  8. Everyone looks so happy. Your cheeks must have been so sore from smiling all day.

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    1. Yes they were and I said I was never going to wash my hand again after shaking Hodgey's :) ;)

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  9. Harri is the best, what a little hero :)

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    1. It made me get teary to see him so happy :)

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  10. Yes Lisa they did not show the coin toss on Foxtel. I was so annoyed!

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    1. I'm relieved that it wasn't on! :)

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  11. Lisa, I have been reading your blog for a couple of months and check in regularly for updates as to how your boys are going. What a lovely post. Their happiness, gratitude and pride is so evident. It was so sweet reading that Harri acknowledged how special the occasion was. It's great to see the players recognising their fans as well.

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    1. Hi Lauren. Thanks so much. We had the best day. We feel lucky to go for a team that we can see so often.

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  12. Hooray! So glad Harri got to run with some of his heroes. What an experience. I especially love the photo with you and the boys. His smile is priceless.

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