Monday, January 22, 2007

Thinking out loud...

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...


Miss Scarlett said...

Oh I so agree with you! Pick up street hockey or intermural gym hockey was so much better - because it was for the love of the game! Not to best someone (ok, well sometimes) or to prove something or to make adults feel better about themselves. I hate that parents, coaches and refs are turning kids sports into pressure cookers. The poor kids - what else do they have these days? Most of them don't get to head outside for some unsupervised play - they just don't have the same opportunities to play without adult interference as they used to. So think how much harder this sports pressure is for them.
It's a shame.
Your art is stunning!
I love the Frog so much! Did someone make that for you? Did you make it? Too cute. What a great idea to display your yarn like that. They look like the drooping heads of lilacs in your vase.
And your little one is knitting? How fabulous!
btw I am not a morning person either so I shudder to think of the things that might escape my lips if I was at a 6 AM hockey practice! Scary. I am like some other person when I have my morning grump on - believe me. Not pretty.

Anonymous said...

The whole intention of being on a sports team is overshadowed by these out of control parents and coaches. Rick had to step in for a coach a couple weeks ago because the coach got three technicals for being out of control at a HS boys bbgame. Good lord. And this guy is a first grade teacher. I will make note of that when Sam approaches first grade. Since my husband is a coach, the greatest difficulty he faces is the out of control parents. Kids not getting enough playing time, or they dare say he has favorites, or made a wrong play or a wrong call and on and on and on. And he wonders why I relish in staying at home on Friday nights - ALONE while the fam goes to a basketball game. I knit, I sip on something, and watch mindless TV. It is heavenly.

LOVE the display. I knew a crystal vase would have a purpose someday and this is it.

I should come up with a little something like that for my next Knit Nite. If anyone is reading this and resides in Osseo, WI, we meet on the third Monday at 6 p.m. Come one, come all, and have a ball.

Anonymous said...

Waiting for a side by side photo of sideways....the drum roll please...

Anonymous said...

I remember my son had a coach like this in soccer - it was just terrible. Too sad - I think it makes more kids just quit than anything else. Love the display of yarn!