Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Monday, June 20, 2011

  I love the Bruins, as I probably made pretty clear in my last post, but here is my favorite hockey player, from my favorite team.  This is my 12 year old son James, who plays for the Reading Rockets, Reading, MA.

I fought the hockey thing with James for years - even as he hugged his knee-hockey stick at the breakfast table as a baby who couldn't even walk, even when he requested skates for Christmas - at 3 years of age.  It involved too much, I figured - hockey is a family sport, as well as a team sport.  "PLEEASE, Mom, can I play?" he asked, eyes wide and sparkling with tears, one summer morning when he was 7 years old.  He was playing street hockey (the next best thing - with a tattered net and a banged-up stick, a cast-off from his brothers, who were soccer kids ((I love soccer!!!  Why coudn't he learn to love soccer?? One hour and you're done!  Less serious injuries!!  It's not freezing on the sidelines!!)

"Yeah, pleease, Mom?" his partner in crime echoed - his dad, my husband Fred.  I stood with my coffee at the curb (I'll never forget that moment), and looked at James.  What if he got hurt?  What if he broke his neck and became paralyzed?  What if the freedom we were edging towards - his brothers were 17 and 20 at the time - was ripped away from us as we travelled from rink to rink, eating at drive-thrus and carrying on friendships by text and at rinkside?

Well, what if?  Then we would deal with it as a family.  The bigger crime would be to deny a kid the glories, sense of team, and...yes, a lot of discipline - that hockey demands.  And our time will come, my husband and I.  But this is OUR time - me, and Fred, and James.  So eight months a year we are hockey-folk, driving from town to town always looking for the rink.  It's a great life, really.
And P.S.... Fred takes him to most practices.  So I've got that going for me. 


1 comment:

  1. Good to see you let him on the ice!! Great life lessons, memories and friendships that will live on forever!!!

    ReplyDelete