I kept reminding my boys about how lucky they are to get to go to something so special, because we knew there would be thousands at the silverdome, and that we probably wouldn't get near the players there. There was only going to be a small group at Southern Cross.
But then after I said that, it hit me how 'unlucky' my boys have been to be so 'lucky' to do special things. It means so much to me, to know that people still think about them and realise how much they've been through, and offer them such special things. It's so nice to see them smile and be so happy, and even though they have been unlucky, I never take these special experiences for granted, and hope they don't either.
The kids got to ask the players any questions they wanted, in front of a little crowd and television cameras. Kobe asked them if they collect footy cards. They joked that Isaac Smith collects all his own cards and then they asked Kobe if he does. He said he did and I told them how he wants to buy a $40 Jarryd Roughead card off eBay, but how that's not happening. Brain Lake told him he will have to save up his pocket money. He was a very funny guy and had everyone laughing the whole time.
Harri asked them how they felt when the final siren went at the grand final, and Ben McEvoy told us how he was on the bench with Cyril Rioli when it went, and he went to hug him but Cyril gave him the 'big slip' and he didn't get a hug. It made us all laugh. Harri put up his hand to ask a second question, and we were very impressed that Brian Lake remembered his name and asked him what his question was. He asked them when did they know that they had won the game, and Brian Lake joked that it was half way through the second quarter.
After the questions there was a BBQ for everyone, and then the kids could go around and talk to the players and get autographs and photos. Brian was really lovely and asked the boys who wanted to wear his medal. Harri quickly volunteered!
The boys loved being able to go around and get autographs from the players. They took their footy cards and Harri also had a book to sign.
We loved Jordan Lewis' tattoo :)
I couldn't resist taking a selfie with some of the boys :)
At the silverdome we bought some premiership merchandise and couldn't resist some brown and gold Krispy Kremes :)
Some of the players came up at the end to sign autographs, but I was only able to grab one signature on the guernsey. We have gotten to know people who work for Hawthorn over the years, and when I asked one of them if she could help get some autographs on the guernsey, and what it was for, she said that the boys and I could come back to the VIP event afterwards if we wanted, so I could get them.
We were very excited, and very grateful that we could do something so special. Mum and my nephew Lachie were also with us, so they were lucky to be able to come to it as well. We are (not so) slowly brainwashing Lachie that Hawks are the team to barrack for! He told us that on Saturday he was the only one going for Hawthorn, and I told him that he was obviously the only one going for the best team.
I hardly saw the boys as they went around on their own getting autographs. Harri is so excited to have his geurnsey signed by the premiership team.
It was a very exciting day, and it was so nice to see my boys so excited and happy. I couldn't help but keep thinking about how much Aaron would've loved it. I would give up all of these experiences to have him and Noah back.