Hockey


My favourite goalie.
My favourite goalie in the whole world. Photos by my dad.

Last weekend, Jordan’s team played in the championship game for his hockey division. It was a nailbiter, with our team looking like it would take the win until the very last minutes, when the other team came from behind to take it. It was a great game, with both teams playing hard. The champions were undefeated in the playoffs and second place is nothing to sniff at. Jordan played well and made some great saves. And we celebrated with family for the whole day.

I don’t know how he does it. Being the goalie is so out there. You are One. You don’t blend in with the rest of your team. And your mistakes are counted on the scoreboard for all to see. Only I count all the shots kept out of the net. People tend to see the loss and think, “if the goalie had only stopped more shots…”. But in this game, like many others, the losing team’s goalie had a higher save percentage than the winning team’s goalie. It its truly a team sport, but the goal tender is right out there, in plain view. He plays the whole game and knows that the less informed blame him for games he didn’t lose. There are a lot of things that are difficult about being a parent, and parenting Jordan has had it special challenges. But one of the hardest things about my role as Jordan’s Mom, is being a Goalie Mom. It isnt’ the schedule or driving to games and practices. It isn’t even that we have to hemorrhage money every year for new equipment (but being a regular player would be WAY cheaper)… it is the stress. I know how much pressure he is under – from himself, but mostly from his teammates and their parents. I know how bad he feels when a goal goes in. I know that he knows that sometimes people blame him when it isn’t his fault. I know that some players intentionally charge the goalie trying to injure him. And while he seems to actually ENJOY all that… I sit in the stands wondering vaguely if I’m having a heart attack and feeling my hair going grey and mouth going dry and I try to remember why I didn’t sign him up for choir or something instead.

The answer of course is, because Jordan has always loved hockey and from the time he was two years old, he said he was a goalie. To a parent, this is a Sign – not that your child is going to play in the NHL, but that you really need to make room in your family life for hockey, and a lot of it. And yeah. We’ve done and are doing that, but I am certain it has shortened my lifespan significantly.

Glove save!
Glove save! Always a crowd pleaser :)

A few weeks ago, Jordan got out the ministicks and taught The Baby to play. The Baby took to it right away and brings sticks to us, especially to Jordan, so we play stick hockey in the kitchen with him. Jordan insists that he will be a goalie too but I find myself saying, very firmly, “No”. This is contrary to my parenting philosophy – that you must follow your child’s lead, take cues and listen. That you must do what you reasonably can to give them the opportunity and tools to explore and experience what interests them. But I don’t know if I can do this again. Hockey Mom, yes. Goalie Mom, I’m not so sure. I know parents whose kids played goal for a while, then the parents found it to be too much and told them no more goal tending and that was it. I know parents who have an older child who is a goaltender and then didn’t give the option to their younger children.

I know that it is too soon to decide. I know that some of the biggest and proudest things Jordan has ever accomplished are part of being a hockey goalie. I know that it is about him and not about me. But I also know that when The Baby picks up a ministick to play hockey in the kitchen, I’ll often remove from his hand the goalie stick he chose and give him a player’s stick instead.

IMG: Trophies.

No Easter for YOU! Ok.. what I mean in, no Easter for US! And even that isn’t completely true :)

We’re heading out early tomorrow morning to another, last, hockey tournament in Niagara. Jordan’s team has made it to the Alliance Championship and it is this weekend. Easter weekend. Yeah really. I wasn’t impressed with the scheduling. I am, however, completely impressed with Jordan and his teammates and the great season they’ve had.

So, since we’ll be in hockey arenas all weekend, we decided to postpone Easter for one week. We’ve got a letter for the Easter Bunny and everything, asking him to come next week instead. I’m calendar challenged, so I won’t even notice that we are out of step with everyone else on this :)

March break?
March BREAK?!!! HA! I don’t think so! It was definitely March, but there was no “break” involved. Here are some of the things that have been filling my calendar (draining my wallet, mostly via the gas tank)…

IMG: Studio Tour at the Art Gallery of Hamilton
We did a studio tour at the Art Gallery of Hamilton on portraiture. Very cool. Of course, no photos were allowed in the tour part; this would be the studio part. Jordan loved both parts :)

IMG: Hamilton Farmers' Market
We hit the farmers’ market for our annual bundle of pussy willows. We got cookies, too, of course :D

IMG: Hockey gold in Woodstock
Jordan played in a two-day hockey tournament. In four games, his team scored over 30 goals and allowed exactly zero. First-place medals for everyone! (am I the only parent who ages noticeably with every tournament?)

IMG: Snowy feet.
It got very warm and prance-through-the-woods Spring-like and then got very cold and snowy Winter-like again. I went into the grocery store while it was Spring-like and when I came out less an hour later, it was Winter-like. This is simply proof that one is in southern Ontario and that it is March.

IMG: Guinness for St Patrick's Day
It was St. Patrick’s Day. :D

IMG: oops... not lunch
We went out for what was supposed to be lunch, but turned out to be dessert with hot chocolate. Oops :) While we were there, Jordan has us all laughing so hard – he and I both had tears streaming down our faces. Also, my cranberry muffin was teh luv.

IMG: Goalie School
And Jordan had two special 2-hour sessions of goalie school. For this part, there were two instructors, and Jordan. *blink* You can’t beat that ratio :D Not surprisingly, Jordan was BEAT after that. hehehhe!

We are almost finished reading Eldest. I’ve been drawing it out, trying to make it last longer. I think Jordan is going to have withdrawls when it is over.

I was thinking that as some things wind down for the year, I’d catch a break and be able to stop and breathe and feel like I’m keeping up. Silly me! I’m sure that for every thing that ends, two more things are taking their place. It’s crazy… but in a good way :)

Happy Spring!

IMG: Snow.

Winter has finally, tentatively, arrived. Today, the snow came down in big wet flakes for a couple of hours. It was beautiful. Now it just has to last.

Last night, Jordan played hockey in Hamilton – at the arena that was “my” arena growing up. I was happy to see it again – I haven’t been there since I was a teenager. It wasn’t Jordan’s best game, but he played well in spite of some physical discomfort. He made two great glove saves. His glove hand is really coming along.

I’m having no luck with the &^%$#$#* hat I’m knitting. grrr.

With the colder weather (Yay!), I think the outdoor rink at the Bronte Creek Park might be open, as well as the one on the water. Now I can use Outdoor Skating as an incentive for Jordan to get his school work done :)

I saw an ad on tv for square bagles? huh? Why? I mean, why even bother? Bagels are perfectly good round. If Someone is going to put all that effort into food development, then Someone needs to develop eggs that, after boiling, make themselves into delicious egg salad (with extra pepper). That would be a useful development. I’ve already vowed never to buy square bagels.

Updates at the Photo A Day page.

IMG: The Sniper
This is one of Jordan’s teammates. Mark calls him The Sniper – for obvious reasons.
Something I have to figure out is how to get good photos when I’m shooting across the ice. The ice really washes the shot out and plays havoc with the brightness.
Jordan didn’t play last night, so my blood pressure remained normal. Being a goalie-mom is stressful! *pity party for one* ;) I can’t even watch other teams play when there is a lot of pressure on the goalie. My heart… she can’t take it!

Smokey has recovered from his visit to the vet. He isn’t so ticked off anymore. And Artemis, my lovable but psychotic 80-pound poodle, is doing a lot better. She is more active, not restless anymore and doesn’t seem to be in any pain… and she is currently bathing another cat, Slippers.
These two are weird. Every day, at least once, they do this. The cat calls the dog with his special, umm.. calling-the-dog sound and gets up on the footstool to wait. The dog comes. The cat rubs on her and purrs and the dog uses her front teeth to clean his fur. At the end, the dog has an orange cat fur mustache and beard and the cat has a strange hairdo similar to a mohawk and smells of dog breath. Then they sleep. o_O

Jordan is at my Dad’s… so for me it’s hammer nap time. Yay! I haven’t slept in two nights so I’m bleary-eyed and a little stupid. Well… more bleary and stupid than normal ;)

I’ve updated the Photo A Day page.

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