hustle

We have found ourselves at another hockey crossroads. Having just slapped down a rather healthy deposit for Caroline to skate a tryout for Cross Ice Mites or a Girls Under 10 team in town next year, I am beginning to accept that it is a near certainty that I will be organizing a three times a week hockey schedule for her in the fall. Now before you say it, I know, we did this to ourselves, willingly. She has been doing great; skating well, fighting harder for the puck, pushing herself. I'm her mother, of course I think she is wonderful, but she has really turned it on this year.



The days of pushing her out of the ice and avoiding direct eye contact are long behind us now. Her questions about how much time is left have stopped completely and have been replaced with a wide smile or a look of incredible determination. Her only tears are from not winning a puck drill. (wonder where that competitive streak came from?) I still can't quite believe it sometimes. Our girly princess loving doll caretaker is a hockey player? It has been challenging to her to get past the "be nice to your friends" approach and actually cut in front, catch an edge tighter than the other kid, and fight for the puck during drills. She always seems to be paired up with this one kid whose parents tape his ankles (Steve comments on this EVERY week) and initially, she wouldn't get in there. She is now often fist pumping after scoring, beating him solidly most times.

She has also somehow caught the eye of one of the coaches who runs the program and he can really lay into her. She misunderstood a drill once and he kept her out there again and she was so upset that he had yelled at her when she forgot about the "second puck" that she needed a minute off the ice. We understand it is to make her better, we tell her this, but another parent confirmed my worry. "If he did that to my daughter, there is no way she would want to come next week." It's hard to keep quiet and walk away when that happens. He always catches her afterwards to tell her she "did well out there today, Caroline."

She followed the women's hockey in Sochi and we had the games on as often as we could realistically catch them. She was thrilled to see all the girls out there. We fulfilled our promise to her and brought her to the last home game of the year for the BC Women's team.


Can we please acknowledge how EMPTY it is there? They don't even charge admission for these games. This was BC vs. BU and still just a smattering of people. It is disheartening in a way, to encourage her to pursue this, knowing that even at a Division 1 program, no one seems to care. I'm in no way saying I'm expecting her to play at this level, but if these are the superstars and this is the support they get, it's really sad for kids her age to see. She is holding the face of one of the graduating seniors. Her mother gave the kids the signs and she was pleased as punch to point her out to us on the ice. Caroline cheered for "my girl" the whole game. We may have been the only people there who were not friends and family. Let that marinate. They played well, even without some of their standouts who were over in Russia competing. Caroline got to meet them at a Men's game she attended with Kiki and Papa while we were away last week. They signed an autograph card for her with their photo and she can still name them all, like they are besties or something. "That's Alex, Molly,and Kelli."

We asked her about the game when we returned home and she shared all the details. "They really turned it on and hustled." She sits with Steve now and watches the Bruins, something she never had any interest in before. She asks questions, she can see the penalties. I don't even usually see the penalties and I watch hockey way more often than she does. She cheers when they score, cries whent they lose. Daddy is very proud.


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