Ice Hockey, Really?



My youngest of three children started his T-ball career rather young.

With two older sisters committed to four days a week at the local softball field; learning to pitch, field and hit, it was the obvious choice for our 5-year old boy.

He tolerated a few seasons of t-ball, followed by baseball. Every Saturday morning, we cheered him on as he stepped up to bat and watched as his tiny legs carried him around the bases. He was our little baseball star.

Until one day, when he announced that he was done.

He would not be returning to the baseball diamond. Ever.

"Oh", was my reaction.

Of course. I had finally found a nice group of moms whose conversation could carry me through a summer night of kid-pitching games. I had somewhere to be three to four nights a week and I'd totally accepted cheese fries and soft pretzels as replacement for cooking dinner on baseball days.

So, you could imagine my dismay at the boy's announcement that, baseball, America's pastime, just wasn't for him.

We exited the field, took him home and waited. We waited for him to decide where his childhood sports career would take him next. A year or two passed and he announced, out of the blue, that he would like to try his hand at hockey.

"Hockey?" we said.

"Yes, hockey." he replied.

Equipment, ice time, skates, dollar signs. Hockey.

We pulled out the family spreadsheet and soon realized that compared to his sisters' Irish step dancing, pitching lessons, gymnastics, soccer, and softball, he was falling behind. Clearly, we were not spending enough time or money on our baby boy.

"Sign him up!" we proclaimed.

Once we outfitted our little 9-year old from head to toe,  in everything short of bubble wrap, we unleashed him on the ice for the most ridiculous sport known to man; ice hockey.

I mean, who came up with ice hockey, anyway?

I imagine it went like this:

So here's the concept. You have to get the puck into the opponent's goal.

Oh, okay like soccer.

Yea, except, instead of your feet you use a stick.

Okay, sounds great.

Oh wait, forget the grassy field, we're going to make them do all of that on a thick, slippery sheet of ice, and the players have to wear ice skates.

Oh.

That sounds dangerous.

Exactly!

So, we signed our son up for hockey.

If that wasn't stressful enough, we learned after a few years, that there is a level where all bets are off, and in addition to balancing on ice and hitting the puck, you get to have full body contact (i.e. checking).

God, I miss baseball.

Shivaun Williams is a Bucks County, PA writer and mom of three. This post is adapted from her blog, Dar Liomsa (In My Opinion).

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