The crowd roared. The flags waved. The team hit the ice with not one but FIVE Halifax Hawks. My son stood by the boards and cheered. Waved his arms… banged on the penalty box… screamed and blew into the annoying vuvuzella I near beat him with in the car on the drive downtown.
Two neighbourhood boys stole the puck, rushed the net, took and gave hits… played with their hearts.
This was hockey!
Last night I sat in the Halifax Metro Centre and watched a team of young men including #16 Kelly Bent and #8 Brett McNeil show their stuff… play the game they’ve loved from a young age with the support of their families behind them. I was thrilled. Two friends’ children playing for Team Nova Scotia in the Canada Games… two lovely, sweet, respectful and kind young boys reaching a dream… mentors to my (oh my God I wish he’d stop blowing that horn) boy.
I can honestly say it doesn’t matter that they lost… because they played… and in playing the game they left everything they had on the ice. They gave it their all.
From a young age these kids found their passion. They live and breathe each goal… playing as a team with a long forgotten thought that they could do it alone. Egos are dropped and pucks are passed in order to play their best game. Each of them contributing as one.
I don’t know where my kid will end up with this sport but I do know he loves it. It’s in him. He’s passionate about playing… retelling the game… watching someone else succeed. This is fun.
“Did you see Kelly get pwned?” he asked when we got in the car. I admit… I saw Kelly get knocked down… but I’m unsure if he was “pwned” or for that matter what “pwned” means (nor why it’s spelled without a vowel!) I saw it all right… let out a gasp as only a hockey mom can when she sees her son… or friend’s son for that matter get “pwned”. “It was right in front of me” he continued excitedly… “Kelly looked up and saw me and grinned”.
Grinned? Are you kidding me? While us Momma’s sit in the stands feeling hit after hit… these kids… they grin. They love it… and last night it showed. In the way they played. In the way we cheered. In the excited way my son retold the game on the ride home.
With the vuvuzella locked securely in the trunk of the car.
Photo credit by my friend Scott Kirpatrick @ stkphoto.com.