Early rises, cold benches, warm pair of gloves and your breath always one step ahead of you with your hot cup of Tims in one hand and two hockey sticks in the other. Your sleepy head kiddo pulls their bag behind them heading to the change rooms. Nothing like the fresh ice cold air in the arena to awaken your senses that the only reason you are there is for the passion your child has and for the love of the game. No matter how the day plays out, win or loose, those rosy cheeks, pouring sweat of their heads and their huge smile after getting off the rink says it all about how they played and how awesome their little heart feels. It feels indescribable joy, that can only be seen in the twinkle of their eyes and felt by the beating of their heart. They feel proud of doing good even if they got their butts kicked. Their eyes sparkle with fire and hunger for something only a player can see and truly feel.
There are few moments that are so profound for me as a parent taking my children to their morning game or practice. We are driving at the brink of dawn, the sun has barely awaken and it has just shot it's first glorious beam of light into the vehicle. In my review mirror I see a young yawning girl with a semi stretched smile starring back at me. Nothing is said. The radio softly plays some random music channel. I give her a wink and a smile and she smiles back with even a bigger grin. I stare a little longer absorbing every second. It's a moment I will never get back. There is only one like it. I have to look away and pay attention to the road as my eyes soon fill with tears. Happy tears. Tears of gratitude and such appreciation of something my daughter is experiencing. A memory building and I am part of it. At that moment, I feel her. Her love, her passion, her dedication, everything she could potentially become, all her dreams and desires as a player are unveiled, my immense love for my child and her love for me, understanding and appreciating every single moment like this is so special and unique.
A profound moment of my boy scoring his 6 goals (that's 2 hat tricks) in one final game as a player in the house league. His journey of being traded didn't feel so good initially and after a long hard battle to fit into an already established team was nevertheless achieved by only perseverance and his dedication. We all thought he has given up after months of hard work, his sparkle was fading, his confidence has weakened, his frustration showed up in each game and then there was the final game of the season. We all sat holding our breath as to what would happen. He shoots and he scoooores!! Then it happened a few more times. After the 1st hat trick I was up on my feet, my eyes fully teary clapping so proud and so happy, shouting "that's my boy" while feeling something I cannot put into words. When the 2nd hat trick was completed, I was beyond myself. It felt surreal. It felt like an out of body experience. It was magical. So special. It only happens once for the first time. There is nothing like it.
Both memories equally dear to my heart and those are only two. I have thousands...........
I don't know, maybe some people get it and some don't. If you have never experienced such moments they are hard to describe in order to be felt. But I do feel many parents feel something significant in terms of their kids playing a sport they love so much, something they are passionate about, and keep working so hard at.
I would walk through fire to give both my kids their ultimate destination. However, I know it is a journey they must walk through, the bad, the good and the ugly. And then there are the amazing. The moments that you hope they remember as they reflect back onto their past, we all hope they take with them something almost tangible in their hearts that will bring tears to their eyes upon embracing their memories. The ultimate happiness, is the moment of realization in your very present that everything you have done up to this point in life has been absolutely perfect and should be as is.
It is all I want for my kids. Education, sports, fun and laughter in everything they do and a lifetime of special memories to carry them through the rest of their life to their ultimate moments of absolute happiness.
Dream on.... reach for those stars (in your case pucks) and never give up!
Your hockey mom ♥