Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Next Generation

My house is busting at the seams with hockey equipment. My husband is an avid player (he even has the injuries to prove it) and my oldest son is becoming attached to the sport as well. My garage has 4 pairs of hockey pants, 7 pairs of skates, two helmets, and a bag of pads in all sizes. Along with this abundance of protection comes an abundance of stench. I am tempted to have my husband build a heated "hockey shed" outside to help my poor nose.

My little guy is now very interested in hockey and is in his second year of lessons. He wants to be just like the men in his life and relishes in putting on his padded pants, gloves, and helmet. Wednesday's are hockey days at my house. My oldest plays late on Wednesday night and my little guy now plays right before him. Let me paint a picture of what his practices look like.

You must always start with some mean gear, a growl, and some safety. His brother has been learning how to check people and J can't wait to get started. The fists just tell it all. With a grab of the helmet and a good shake....we are ready to get started.

We then race down to the ice. Crowds of cows....err, children, corral their way down the path. They are all eager to get on the ice. J holds my hand to steady himself as he gingerly places his blades on the ice...and then he's off. Arms immediately shoot out to his sides. I can't help but think about gymnasts who pop their arms out after landing a jump. His little feet stutter up and down as he works his way to his instructor. They all penguin waddle their way to the hand drawn stars on the ice. 

Oomph, be careful! Inevitably there is a fall but no tears. He gets into the doggy position (all fours) and quickly shows a knee. Time to push and pop. J steadies himself and pushes with all his might. POP! Up he goes and out shoot the arms.

He is quick to pop up when no one is looking. However, if the cute teacher comes over....he bats his loooong eyelashes and she quickly gives him a hand. Already working it and he's only 3. I'm in trouble.

Today was a great day. I saw gliding and motivation to get up on his own. The coordinator at the rink asked if he'd been doing lessons after Spring Break. Well, of course he'll be doing that.

"Do you think he's ready for the Skate to Play class?", she gingerly asked me.

"Are you kidding me? He'd LOVE that. I get to put a stick in his hand right?"

"You betcha."

"Sign me up. Just beware...he knows how to use it!"

One quick look back and he's ready to go. Another skater in the house and some extra stench in the garage. I couldn't be happier.   


  1. These are some of the cutest photos! Thanks for sharing your slice.

  2. Aren't children the most amazing miracles?

  3. Just adorable...even with some mean gear and a growl!

  4. Well, first, I love the photos-so cute. And then as always Elizabeth, I love your descriptions: "children corral their way down the path" and "his little feet stutter up and down". I at first am amazed they start so young but then we had our kids up on skis at that age too. They are ready. Thanks for sharing this new 'stuff' of hockey to me.

  5. This is incredible. Your little one is so cute and your description is like a sport comment from the rink. I like the little warning you give in the end: just beware..
    I find that it is great that the men in your house have the same hobby.

  6. Your picture writing combination so capture my imagination. Its like I'm there in the audience watching, waiting, applauding. Thanks for the glimpse.

  7. love the penguin waddle and how sweet are they!!!!

  8. "Feet stuttering" and "penguin waddling" those descriptions. How wonderful that they have this common love of hockey. How amazing that you will long for that stench in later years!

  9. I love when you write with pictures! So many great descriptions in this piece, but my favorite lines were, "However, if the cute teacher comes over....he bats his loooong eyelashes and she quickly gives him a hand. Already working it and he's only 3. I'm in trouble. " I had one just like that...yep, you are in trouble!

  10. How fun! Thanks for the pics.

  11. Elizabeth,
    This is a great marriage of photos and words. As a retired hockey mom, your story brought back fond memories. My son hung up his skates after high school. Now we enjoy rooting for our favorite team, the Buffalo Sabres who if I am remembering the right are playing your favorite team tonight. Love reading your writing. ~ Theresa

  12. Hockey is the best! My oldest loves the game and husband too. I love the pics and share in your joy of watching little ones find something they love.