the boy who cried hockey

Just when you think you have them alllll figured out...

First, he wanted to play hockey. His very first thought each morning was to pull out the knee hockey nets. He didn't even care if anyone played with him. He posed for photos wearing tiny hockey equipment. He couldn't wait. He took slap shots all the live long day and we could barely pry the stick from his hand to go to bed at night. I swear he even said, "five hole," in his sleep.

Then, he wanted to do anything BUT play hockey. We could not convince him to join the other newbies on the ice for learn to hockey. After several failed tearful attempts and far too much energy from any adult in the vicinity to talk him into it, we abandoned the idea. He skated once with a couple buddies, but was adamantly opposed to any formal learn to anything involving ice and skates, with friends or not.

For awhile he taunted us telling us he would skate only with us and only on the pond. "That's it!" Then the hockey guys hit the scene and he spent more and more time with them. He started paying more attention to the Bruins games, really watching. Bedtime got occasionally pushed up to catch part of the first period. He asked more questions, thoughtful ones. He got more interested, but still he refused to talk about playing himself, now or in any future tense.

All the while he kept attending Caroline's sessions as a spectator and slowly the story started coming out. He was afraid of the Zamboni he said, to which I laughed out loud because he is obsessed with Zambonis. He told me he was too little and he would not be able to get off the ice in time to get out of the way. This is where I had a little Scooby Doo style flashback to the ride in the car on our way to his first learn to hockey session when his caring sister nicely told him, "don't worry, I will make sure you get off the ice before the Zamboni comes." EUREKA! He had interpreted this not as a helpful big sister comment, but a warning. "You are going to get run over by a Zamboni."

I had some quiet discussion with him while Steve got Caroline prepped for the next session and we watched the Zamboni clean the ice. I was careful to point out how the driver checked the ice and made sure ALL the kids were safely off before starting. He observed. He understood.

Then he hit us with, "but I just want to do it with Daddy." No problem, I thought. I told him that Daddy had gone out with Caroline too when she was little and helped her get started, but she didn't need him anymore. I was sure he would do the same for Connor if he asked him. So he did, and Daddy of course said, "Anytime."

Now. He gestures madly at the ice from the scary old wooden stands during her Sunday sessions. He crosses his arms and pouts. He holds his head in his hands and whines without reason. I couldn't figure it out for awhile, but eventually, "I want to play out there!" So, now Mr. Fickle wants to play. He wants Daddy to bring him out next week. Seriously, kid? What do I even say to him? We aren't sure if we should capitalize on this moment and get him out there (with Daddy) or if this is a time to say "you had your chance, you need to wait until Fall." I told him we would talk to the coaches, we did afterall pay for an entire session he refused to participate in. Every morning since: "Did Daddy talk to the coach?!"

Seems like BOTH our kids like to do things in their own time, their own way and this, this is why I have so many grey hairs.


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