Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hockey Post~#14

My son keeps telling me I need to write more blogs about hockey. "Hockey, hockey, hockey...", he says. The problem is, hockey is one of those things that is much better experienced in person than that which words can describe on paper (or in cyberspace). One can not possibly get the full effect of a good checking move against the boards unless one is there to hear the slicing sound of blades scraping on ice as the solid thud against the wooden boards reverberates in harmony with the muted clashing of helmet to helmet, and stick to stick. Not only that, but one must be watching the progression of the player(s)/team over time to appreciate what is happening in the present.

Hockey seems to consume our lives during the six month period beginning September through early March. It is not at all unusual for Michael to have a practice everyday of the week, or to have a scrimmage later in the day after having an early morning practice. In addition to an hour long (or more) practice, one needs to also account for driving time (up to an hour or more round trip), dressing and undressing time (30 minutes plus), and needing to arrive between 30-60 minutes before the scheduled event. All totalled, each event ranges from 3-4 hours of a time commitment. That is a huge chunk of time for any family....if each of our kids were that involved, we would need 4 extra hours added to a typical 24 hour day, and that would not include any sleeping time!

The commitment in this case, is worth it. This is something Michael was devoted to from the beginning, and it really is the glue that keeps the rest of us devoted too. When we are watching him play, doing something that he truly enjoys doing, it makes all the sacrifices of time melt away. When we are watching him play, and play well (as he always does), it makes our hearts happy to know that he is reaping the benefits of hard work and dedication. When we hear other parents cheer and compliment our son, it is hard not to glow with pride for all he has accomplished. From unsteady legs that struggled to stand just 3 years ago, to arguably the best skater, and certainly the best checker on his team, Michael is making his mark on Waconia hockey. We look forward to the completion of our own arena this spring which will bring drives down to 5 minutes roundtrip, and will eliminate most 10pm practices. Until then, we will continue to press on and enjoy this (sometimes tiring) ride with Michael.

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