Back when we fitted him with new gear, threw a pair of skates on his feet and fired him out on the slippery, cold surface with a pat on his back and a “have fun” thrown in for good measure.
Back when he tip toed through each drill…his coaches encouraging him with each and every step…my little guy being the last to the other side of the ice.
Every single time.
I want those days back.
Last night I sat in the rink…my hands shaking and my heart pounding as my boy threw his body around like a pair of sneakers in the dryer…a trailer park in a tornado…a child’s toy in a temper tantrum.
He wasn’t afraid to take a hit. Or give a hit.
Me…not sure which one was worse and uptight with each scream that came from the other side.
I liked it when he couldn’t skate. When I sat in the stands smiling at each small accomplishment that to him was huge. Proud of him as he intently listened to everything the coach said…slipping and sliding a la Bambi.
But as much as it makes me nervous, at the end of the game when he comes out of the dressing room…his hair and shirt soaking wet…his dress shirt undone and his tie not quite right…dragging his gear and fancy new stick behind him with a grin on his face…it’s obvious how much he loves the game.
Seems Bambi’s done turned himself into a fine old buck and wants to play the tougher game. Mama’s gotta sit back and relax…learn the difference between a good hit and a bad hit…know when a penalty is justified or unfair…know when a hit is clean or dirty…accidental or on purpose.
And, that parent screaming on the other side of the rink…if she gets me uptight next time…I might just have to go over there and Thump-her!