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Sunday, January 25. 2009
L's hockey team has a great time together despite that not being reflected in the game results. In talking with another parent last night, he stated that they had won their first game and then lost the next three. He also stated that "they weren't a very good team." He went on to say that "the team we are playing tonight isn't very good either so if we don't win its going to be bad." I wasn't quite sure how to take his comments as I thought we were all there for fun and I couldn't help wondering what he or the team would do if they didn't win, if they would hate the goalie as I looked down the ice at L very excitedly in goal barely able to move with all of her gear. She has been wanting to play goalie and although I cannot understand the lure, I fully encourage and support her. She made some saves but was no match for "shots above the stick" (as she called the high ones) and the final score was 6-3 for their opponents. I waited patiently for her outside the dressing room but as time passed I started to wonder what happened to her. Perhaps she was upset so I decided to go and check. She and 4 others were laughing and having a great time. Several others had already left. There in the corner was the Dad that I had talked with and his son who was visibly upset about the loss (just as the younger brother had been in the stands earlier). The boy was barely able to hold back the tears. He is a strong player and had a few shots on the net that didn't result in goals. The team played well together but didn't have the same understanding of the ice, positions and icing that the other team did. Often the puck would be out front and all players would be on the opposite side. They are learning and for the most part it seemed like they were having fun. The image of this boy and his father though just wouldn't' leave my mind. I wondered if the kids had been upset with L in goal or if she had noticed the kids that were mad that they hadn't won despite the fact that several seemed to just be enjoying the experience and each other which is truly what it is all about. I asked her how it went. "Great! I like being in goal!" In one of my likely not so great parenting moments, I asked her "Were some of the kids upset that your team didn't' win?" She replied "Well...yes.". I then asked if anyone had been upset with her. She went on to explain that kids had been mad at J and two other kids when they were in net (at this point I am wondering why on earth she would have wanted to play in goal so much!) but no one had said anything to her and then she responded "A good team player does not get mad at the goalie when the team doesn't win." She went on to explain that Coach G told them that and that they were a team together and together they win and lose. I am again reminded that parenting is a two way street and that while we try to teach our children, they also are teaching us. I am so grateful that she has this experience and that she is taking what she is learning and implementing it in her life likely in more areas than just playing hockey. I realize that this lesson will take her throughout life and that hopefully she will find as much joy in the future as she shares in losses with team members as she did last night. My thoughts then return to the very upset and frustrated little boy in the locker room.......may he too find a way to celebrate the game last night.