Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hockey in Heaven?

So what do you think about that? Hockey in Heaven. Think it's a possibility?

This is a sport that the boys have literally begged me to play since they were little. Well, at least Jake and Jared begged; Blake never had the desire. I fought them off for years. It's a game that was big in the Found family. Jon played as a kid. His brother, Dane, played and even went as far as playing for the OHL - Oshawa Generals many years ago. Jon's late grandfather, also named Dane, was very instrumental in getting the Orono Arena up and running.

My late mother-in-law always encouraged me to get the boys involved in hockey and said that if money was the issue, she would pay for it. Well, it's an expensive sport, but money wasn't the issue; it was the time commitment. It was also the fact that I have a big mouth (for those of you who don't know! hahaha) and I have seen hockey parents in action. I never wanted to be "out of control, ripping the head off the ref, or participating in a verbal fight with opposing team's parents who tell their kid to 'take out' my son"!

Fortunately, I have found that is NOT the case (at least in House League) and it has proven to be a wonderful experience. Jake and Jared tried hockey four years ago and LOVED it. When it was time to start up again the next season, they surprisingly opted for karate instead! Just when they finally get me pumped for hockey, they shift gears.

Anyways, they opted this year to return to hockey, and it's been a blast. Exhibition Tournament filled up our March Break, but it was enjoyable (except for the 5:00am wake up) and today finished our eight games. One more regular game each for the boys this weekend, and then they participate in the House League Tournament on March 28th in Wellington. I am sad to see the season end.

Below is a picture of my aggressive little fellas....Jake, Jared, and "adopted son" Matt. This was taken a number of weeks ago during a Friday night practice. Quite the colourful photo, eh?

(l-r) Jake (center-forward); Jared (goalie, defence, forward); Matt (defence, forward)

And when you stand next to them, especially with their skates on, they appear as giants! My little men are growing up.
So, back to my question. Any hockey in Heaven? I had an acquaintance who suggested that "the Lord does not like sports because it's competitive and the Lord does not call us to compete with one another". I had a really big problem with that statement. I don't teach my kids to go out and be competitive. I teach them to play hard and do well, improve their skills, encourage other players, keep active and healthy, but above all, just have fun and be a boy! It's great to win, but there are TWO teams playing. There's a winner and a loser; but if you're all having fun, then you're ALL winners. Most parents have this philosophy, but there are the exceptions to the 'rule'. These parents just want their kids to walk away with that "1st Place" title. Sounds to me like parents living out their own dreams through their kids!
Who's to say that the kids can't be a witness for the Lord on the ice? or in the locker room? (even with that putrid stench of musty hockey equipment!) There are some kids out there with some pretty colourful language and attitudes, MANY who don't live in Godly homes. Yesterday one of the girls on our team was doing a bit of shoving and pushing with a boy from an out-of-town team.....yes, you read that correctly....girl pushing boy. I chuckled as I thought of how brave she was. The boy turned to the ref and pointed that the girl was shoving him. He was trying to get the ref to penalize her, but it sure looked funny that a boy was crying the blues to the ref for a GIRL shovin' him around a bit. (Bet he took some razzin' for THAT from the other boys in the change room!)
Well, I found out today that a few of the boys on the other team were calling this girl a..... ummmm...... sorry, can't write that word on the blog. But it wasn't a favourable word. I'm surprised that ol' girl didn't do more than shove him!
Apparently our coach, Eric, talked about it with the other coach who said he didn't know which boy(s) it was, but would definitely speak to ALL of his team. Our coach took that opportunity to, in turn, explain to his own team that this kind of behaviour would not be tolerated, and that he did not want to hear that kind of talk come from HIS team. [Big smile from me!] Another teaching moment. Thank goodness for the coaches and parents that care.
Folks, we are teaching these kids some lifetime skills. The principles they learn in hockey, or even other sports for that matter, can be applied as they continue to grow older and go out into the work force and have relationships with other people from friends to sweethearts to employers to those in authority....
I always warned the boys that if I EVER heard of them being disrespectful, I'd walk right onto the ice myself and haul them off! They know I'll do it. Don't mess with Momma.
So, I'm really hoping that my Mansion on the cul-de-sac that is being prepared for me in Heaven has an ice rink close by, maybe a soccer field too. Jesus said “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children." (Luke 18:16 NLT) Jesus loved the children. I just can't help but think the Lord would enjoy watching the kids have a fun game of hockey. He might even offer some good Coaching advice.
And, I'm pretty sure there'll be no need for a Penalty Box, which is amazing news for Jacob!!!!!!!!!!!! (Hey Jake - mental note: That means more playing time on the ice!)


badoo2 said...

Hey Michelle I think you should yell "you make me wanna puke, puke, puke"..............hahahahaha. And why don't you take your cowbell?

(For anyone reading the comments you would have had to been at one of the hockey games Michelle and I went to years ago)

Michelle said...

Hahahahaha, you're funny, Danielle. I never thought of the cowbell until I was already at the game.

At one of Sunday's games, one dad kept shouting to the opposing players, "Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!". Guess that would've been my opportunity to shout, "You make me wanna Puke! Puke! Puke!", which would pretty much be going against all the points I made in my blog. :O)