So it's Monday, which means it is hockey practice morning - and it was my turn to take Ben to the arena, so by 5:50AM, he was on the ice and I was basking under the glow of an overhead heater, coffee at my side and knitting in hand. I tend to sit on my own, because frankly, I am a little socially retarded at the best of times, and am SO NOT socially sparkling at 6 in the morning. I was near the hard-core hockey parents, who were discussing a possible tournament over March Break in very gung-ho terms. I looked out to the ice and watched the coach for the team we share the ice with.
This is an intense guy. It's rumoured that he actually received a coaching penalty because of his yelling and attitude towards his players, and that parents of his players have filed complaints about him. The players, keep in mind, are 10 years old. During practices, he likes to use his whistle. A lot. It's a very shrill, vibrate your eardrums, get right under your last nerve sort of whistle, and he uses it a lot. He uses it to start drills. He uses it to end drills. He uses it to call kids, and to get their attention. I wouldn't use it to call my dogs, never mind other people. I want to deck him every time he uses the godforsaken thing, and given my low level of energy at 6AM, that's saying something. I actually visualized it this morning: I saw myself climbing down the stairs, sliding across the ice and slugging him. In my mind, I saw him swallowing his whistle, and I smiled. I'm not proud. But please.
So I'm watching these kids - how old are they? Oh, yeah, they're 10. Are they NHL prospects? Not likely. Are they having fun right now? Uh-uh. I'm watching the coach. Nuff said. I am eavesdropping on the hard-cores, not by choice, but because they are so hyped and loud I can't avoid it. As the caffeine melts its way through my veins and into my consciousness, I think:
I want my son to do well, of course, but only for the fact that he will be happy about it. Is he the next Sidney Crosby, or does he strive to be? No. Ultimately, he plays hockey because he wants to, because IT'S FUN. And things were so lacking in fun this morning, it was unbelievable. We have been part of the whole hockey subculture long enough that I shouldn't be surprised by any of this, shouldn't even notice it. And I still am, I still do, and it makes me kind of sad for our 10-year olds. They have their whole lives to feel pressured and pushed - it just seems so early to start.
Thank you for your indulgence.
And now for something completely different:
I am lucky enough to have some wonderful artwork on my walls. I look at it all the time for comfort and inspiration. But lately, I am keeping a different sort of artwork on my desk, and it makes me very happy indeed...
The frog is wearing a scarf made by Tanner - his first piece of knitting, in fact... and the crystal vase? Well, I am not a crystal vase sort of person - I am, by nature, an earthenware jug type of gal, but I have finally found something, some degree of beauty and inspiration, for which the crystal has been deemed worthy.
so now I am going to have a coffee, admire my artwork, and NOT think about whistles for the rest of the day...