The first goal of the season

I promise not every blog is going to be about hockey.  It just happens to be the season for it.    I wanted to share an experience from this weekend.  Maybe you and your family will relate.  Let me start with the rewind button.   About three weeks ago, the squirt hockey tryouts wrapped up.  I was told my son had a pretty decent tryout.  The teams were supposed to be posted  by 11pm the night of the last tryout.  My son waited and waited, hitting refresh on the browser every 30 seconds.  Then came the announcement at midnight that the teams would not be announced until 9am the next morning.  It was a sleepless night at our house.   My son was a quote “a Bubble” player.   It was going to be A or B2 (the same level as last season).  There was no B1 team in our community this year.  My husband and I were mainly concerned about the carpool.  Will he get on the same team with kids from the neighborhood?

Finally by 10am the next morning, after I had left for work, the teams were posted.   I got the call from my husband and it was the news I had feared.  My son did not make the A team and my husband could not stop my son’s tears.  Hewas inconsolable.    I don’t think we had ever dealt with disappointment like this before.  What do you do? We tried talking to our son about the benefits of playing on the lower level team (more opportunities to touch the puck, chance to be a leader) .  No matter what we said, he kept repeating how he wanted to quit.  No way was he going to play the same level again.  My husband considered threatening him by taking away future sports.  I decided positive reinforcement would be best.  I  bribed him.  Parenting experts might not agree with this approach, but team practices started that day and I needed to think of something fast.  I asked him if there was something he wanted and he told me an XBOX.   I figured his birthday and Hannukah were just a few weeks away, we could make it an all encompassing gift.  All he had to do was show up at every practice and game with a good attitude. He was on board. He just had one more request for me:  That I videotape every game.  I said no problem.    Check out the very first highlight from the first game.  That’s my son, number 9, scoring the team’s first goal of the season. 

That shot provided so much joy in our family.  My son’s hit replay several times since I posted on youtube this morning.   It’s hard to believe just a few short weeks ago we had felt so much grief.   Not to mention the carpool kids made the A team as well. 

I am sure there are countless stories of kids forced to overcome disappointment.  I firmly believe it helps build character and makes them stronger and better prepared for the real world. 

And when you see my son smiling at the rink this season,  I can tell you it’s genuine.  It’s not because the xbox image is dancing in his head.  He’s made new friends and he is having fun.