One thing I did not realise when I got married is how much my husband loved hockey. In fact, there were times, in those early years, when I suspected that he loved hockey more than me (those fears have been quashed…most of the time). He can spend hours watching hockey, talking about hockey, shopping for hockey-related clothing, and playing hockey when he gets the chance. If you know me at all, you know that my interests lie more in drinking coffee, reading novels, watching movies, and chatting on the phone.
Needless to say, my husband’s dreams of us watching the play-offs side-by-side never materialised. Therefore, I wasn’t at all surprised when, within minutes of my son’s birth, the Boy was swathed in a Calgary Flames sleeper and onesie. His grooming as a sports-watching companion for my husband had begun.
My Boy is now an avid sports lover in his own right; not only does he
love watching sports but he loves playing them, especially soccer and
hockey. Lately, I’ve been concerned that my disinterest in sports has been distancing me from my son. Sports is such a big part of his life, and I really can’t fake my lack of interest. My husband keeps telling me that I have to cultivate more of a sports-awareness, if not for him, then for the Boy. I’m trying, but it’s hard to be something I’m not. That is, until recently.
This past season, my Boy has played on a great house league team in our neighbourhood. He had a great group of coaches, who placed the emphasis completely on fun and fairness as opposed to winning. This strategy brought out the best in the kids, and this past weekend, after an incredibly dynamic play-off season, they won the Little Stanley Cup for their division.
The games have been so much fun. I love cheering with the other parents on the team – it’s a great group of people and we are all there filled with love for our kids. At the final game on Saturday, I was on the edge of my seat. My Boy is the goalie, and my heart was in my mouth the whole team. When they won and I saw the genuine joy on my son’s face, I felt such joy at his team’s achievement. They’d come into the series an underdog, and had emerged triumphant.
All of a sudden, I get it: Playing on this team, working with his team, forming new relationships and social skills, the joy of accomplishing something together as the result of team efforts – it’s been huge for my Boy. He’s a sensitive person, who gets hurt easily and doesn’t cope well with conflict. More than anything that my husband and I have taught him, being on this team and his soccer team has helped him grow and develop in those areas. He’s more confident, assertive and more likely to shrug things off that previously made him upset.
Looks like I may be on my way to being a hockey fan after all.