Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Josie's First Hockey Game

You didn't expect to get this far into the fall without another hockey post, did you?  I know, I know.... but this hockey player is tiny and covered in as much pink as possible, and that's something new and blog-worthy, right?

Josie had her first ever hockey game last Sunday.  Her team - the Avalanche - played another in-house team, The Coyotes.  We were all excited, but Josie was nervous. 

Very nervous.  

The night before the game, Josie told me that she was nervous.  The morning of the game, Josie told me that she was nervous.  And about five minutes before she went on the ice, Josie told me (again) that she was nervous.

I began to worry that maybe we were doing the wrong thing by sending Josie out to play.  I've never had a child tell me that he/she was nervous about playing a sport before.  Was this one of those moments when you encourage your child to push past their fear and thus prove to themselves that they are brave enough to do anything they want to do?  Or was this one of those times when you need to listen to your child and tell them that they can sit this game out?  

I don't know, but I did know that this was one of those times when I questioned why I was allowed to be a parent in the first place.

I chose the first option, gave Josie a pep-talk that may or may not have included a plagiarized line from the movie "We Bought A Zoo" (which we had watched the night before and which I highly recommend).  I told her that she was brave and that how she played in the game didn't matter - what did matter was that she joined her teammates and gave it her all.  

Josie followed her team to the bench....

and then out onto the ice for the first shift of the game:

The children did a quick skating warm up:

And the game began:

Josie played fantastically.  There isn't much (any) passing at this level, but Josie managed to get the puck a few times and attempt a few goals:

Gordy and I were having a fantastic time watching her.  She is quite determined and not the least bit afraid to get involved in the action.

The early hockey levels play in the mini-rink:

Georgia, Henry and I sat on the bleachers in the back and I shot these photos using my telephoto lens.  I was pleased that I got the below photo of Josie smiling.

She really seemed to be enjoying herself.

That wasn't the case with Miss Missy:

Georgia would like you all to know that she does not enjoy an ice rink.

Henry, on the other hand, was having a marvelous time.  He got a kick out of watching Josie play and he videoed a lot of her shifts on his phone while yelling out words of encouragement.

It was fun to watch.  

What was even more heart-warming was what happened a few moments later.  Right before the whistle blew to signal the end of the game, Josie attempted to score a goal and was thwarted by a defensive Coyote player.... which Josie found annoying, to say the least.  But what made the play even more disappointing for Josie, was that when the Coyote player knocked the puck from her stick, he knocked her over at the same time and so when the whistle sounded, Josie was goal-less and stuck on her stomach on the ice.  

Josie came off the ice in tears and by the time she met me by the locker room door, her tears where accompanied by great sobs.  She was disappointed that she didn't score the goal and she was hurt that she landed so squarely on the ice, but mostly, I think she was just really exhausted.  I quickly got her helmet off and tried to calm her down.  I assured her that she was all right and that she had played wonderfully.  While she sobbed into my shoulder, I told her about how proud we were of her for overcoming her nerves and playing the game.  

My words were only slightly working and I was running out of ideas.

And then Henry came over.  He got down on his knees to look her in the eye and he told her how amazing she was and how well she played.  He gave specific details about specific plays and told her how proud he was of her.  It was kindest, sweetest thing I had ever seen/heard Henry do.  

So maybe Henry is the better parent in this family- who knows?!

Our children do not often give each other words of encouragement.  I hope that doesn't sound terrible.  It's not that they wish each other ill, quite the contrary.  For the most part, they get along.  It's just that I hadn't seen such empathy and such good-will in such a long time and I can't tell you what it did for my faith in the world.  

It's these little moments of amazement and joy that make parenting so rewarding.  I will have to remind myself of this fact the next time one of my children is throwing a tantrum over a homework assignment or accusing his/her sibling of some great (imagined) injustice.  

You'll remind me, right?


Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

That is so sweet!! What a good big brother!! My girls are nor particularly supportive of each other either, but I hope they would encourage/comfort each other if the opportunity presented itself!

Anonymous said...

Love that Henry!

Martha said...

Lisa - isn't the goal of all us parents? One of my mantras is that family comes first and your siblings are your friends for life ... but I'm not sure if they believe me!

Martha said...

Thanks, Trish!

David said...

Henry is a great kid. We have always seen him being very nice to Josie,which is heartwarming- particularly from a hockey player.

Gordy's Mom said...

Yes, I have often noticed how kind and supportive both Henry and Georgia are toward Josie. This is not just good luck. It also shows that you and Gordy are doing alot right! Hope I get to see one of Josie's games, but if she cries, I'll cry. Gordy's Mom

Martha said...

thanks, D&J!

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