As a kid, Shawn Mickens knew that when he became a dad, he and his family would have season tickets for a hockey team and enjoy hockey games as a family.
Though Columbus Blue Jackets season tickets came before he had a family of his own, Shawn and his boys Alex, 6, and Chris, 4, use Blue Jackets games to bond as father and sons.
Shawn and his wife Laura made the decision to adopt Alex and Chris after welcoming into their home as foster children after trying for children of their own. Shawn said that he and Laura knew they wanted to adopt the boys the first day they moved in, but Alex and Chris were not immediately available for adoption.
“We always knew we wanted to adopt because my wife’s mom is adopted and we have friends who were adopted,” Shawn said. “So we always knew it would be something we wanted to do ourselves.”
Because of the Blue Jackets, hockey has become the way that Shawn and his sons strengthen their relationship.
“With the boys coming from a different place, it is a nice thing for us all to experience hockey together,” Shawn said. “
Shawn alternates which son he brings with him to games, since he has two season tickets. He said that they have become “obsessed” with the Blue Jackets over the past year and watch the NHL Network every day.
“They love going to the games,” Shawn said. “They get into all the action, all the fights, any time there’s a hit, any time there’s almost a goal, they’re always oohing and aahing or jumping up and down. It’s really cool to watch them experience the games and see how much they get into it.”
The family even has a game day tradition—listening to a pump-up song on the way to school that day.
“We have probably listened to ‘Light ‘em Up’ and ‘Radioactive’ a million times because it gets them pumped up,” Shawn said.
This Father’s Day, Shawn, Alex and Chris plan to spend the day together. Shawn also said that Father’s Day is particularly special to him because he has Alex and Chris in his life.
The boys want to try hockey themselves one day, but for them, following the Blue Jackets has grown the family closer together, one game at a time.