The last couple of weeks have been INSANE! Awesome, but crazy! Last week, Liv met her footy hero, Luke Hodge from the Hawthorn Football Club, which I wrote about here. Then she was interviewed and featured on Channel 7 news, and the day after was interviewed again for a piece being put together by Bupa and then a phone interview for the Herald Sun (which made it online but not to print, which made Liv quite grumpy actually!) Yesterday, that was all topped off with Liv being the Hawks Junior Mascot in their game against North Melbourne. She was given a full Hawthorn match kit to wear and she looked cute as a button! Of course Hodgey was his beautiful self, seeing Liv as they ran out of the rooms on their way up the race to warm up on the field, and he came straight over to give her a high five. We were then able to watch them train from the boundary line, and Liv happily danced to all of the pre game music! She wasn’t stressed about any of the crazy crowds and sounds around her, and she didn’t even mind the long wait till banner time. She met Hawker again, the mascot, who she loves, and she was even interviewed on the big MCG screen! She is very comfortable with all of the attention she’s been getting lately, that’s for sure.
Then the banner went up and the crowd got louder. The players ran up the race, Liv was ushered to the front and Hodgey found her and guided her towards the banner. She was walking slowly towards it, with her Hawker toy in hand, but when the Hawthorn song started, she switched to a run! Hodgey held a piece of banner open for her, and she bolted through….and kept on running with Hodgey to the middle of the ground! He had to stop and point her in the direction of the boundary line! He gave her a beautiful wave and she ran back to us excitedly. She was brilliant, we were so incredibly proud of her. Only a year ago, the whole experience would have been so much more daunting, perhaps even impossible for her to cope with. But she just lapped it up, and enjoyed every second of it.
After that, she and hubby watched from the boundary line as I was given the amazing opportunity of tossing the coin! I only found out about that a few days prior, and I was so focussed on Liv’s big occasion that I only really thought about it as I walked over to the centre square. Not many people get to walk on that hallowed turf, let alone toss the coin to begin a footy match! Thank goodness, I didn’t mess up the toss, and Hodgey won it, so I have no guilty feelings about it! Both Liv and I feel like we can take some credit for Hawthorn’s win, especially for that first quarter blitz!
I will cherish my little moment on the centre square of the MCG with Hodgey (and some other footballer and an umpire!) just as I know Liv will cherish all of her Hawthorn moments from the last few weeks. We are so grateful to the wonderful team at Bupa, for making all of this possible, and to the Hawthorn Football Club and of course, the wonderful Luke Hodge for giving up his time last week to make Liv’s dream of meeting him come true. Hawthorn truly are the family club, and we are brown and gold forever!