Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The bonds of hockey

Ashley is now the hero of our house. For those of you that don't know her go and check out her blog, she is a very talented college girl, who happens to play hockey. David, my little hockey player, has found a common bond with her, and you would think that he knows her personally the way he talks about her. We were outside playing today and one of the little neighborhood boys said that girls couldn't play sports as good as boys, well my little man set to prove him wrong.
"Yes they can, my mom plays sports with us." he says.
"but she doesn't play real sports." the snotty little brat said.
"She plays football with us and lets us tackle her, and my college friend she's a girl and she lives in Canada and she just won a really huge trophy for playing hockey, because she is like the best player in the world Her name is Ashley and she could even take me in a hockey game and we have pictures on our computer to prove it! And I even have girls on my hockey team and we're like almost professionals. Do you know how to play hockey?" I don't think he took a breath, but he got his point across.
"No hockey is stupid." bad move on other boys part there.
"No it's not it's the best sport in the world, and it is harder than any sport you play. You have to know how to ice skate and everything. You have to be tough to play hockey you can't be some wimp, it is better than football and way harder" David snaps.
Then I chimed in "well what sports do you play honey" knowing full well that this chubby little boy had never participated in a team sport as long as he lived, but being a little bitter over the whole girl's can't play thing I guess I just wanted to egg it on a bit sometimes the girl in me pops out and leaves the mom behind.
"I don't play sports on a team it's stupid even my dad says it's stupid."
"Well see girls can play better than you then huh." David says.
Then I just felt sorry for him, because for whatever reason his parents have never given him the opportunity to actually understand what it is to play as a team. He will never understand team work, unity, or any of the thousands of other character building things a team sport does for children. The mother in me left the girl part behind and told him "well that's ok not everyone likes to play sports there is nothing wrong with that."
The look on David's face was of awe and wonder, he thinks everyone should play sports, football, baseball, basketball, and most of all hockey, but I understood that it wasn't this child's fault it was the fault of his parents, man don't they even know what they are missing watching their child score his first goal, or make his first basket or touchdown or homerun. Cheering him on, trying to make sure he hears your voice over all the other parents so he knows just how proud of him you are, bragging about his ability to anyone who will listen, those are just the things parents get out of it. I wish they knew the self esteem it builds in children when they play an organized team sport, and the way they learn to work together, there are just so many things this child is missing out on, and he knows he is missing out on it too, you could tell by the way he talked. He probably learned the whole girls can't play sports thing from his father too, boy did David sit him straight on that maybe he will take the lesson home to his dad and next year maybe just maybe they will let him play on a team.

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