Sunday, September 12, 2010

Officially a Hockey/Soccer Mom

Evidently my kids suck at sports, but, holy hell, they are so cute doing them.

And, really, it's not fair to say they suck. They're just new to these particular sports. For instance, Sam had his first soccer game of his life on Saturday after only three practices.

I wasn't at the soccer game because I had to take Jack to his social skills group, but by all reports (i.e. Alex's synopsis), those three soccer practices haven't yet paid off. But he does look very handsome in his uniform. This was the closest I could get to making Sam smile for a photo. According to him, soccer players don't smile.

There's no smiling in soccer.

I say give him a couple of weeks to get his confidence up and he'll be great. Or if he's not, he'll keep having fun and that's all good. Sam loves sports and I am so proud of him for all the good effort he puts into them.


I was on hand to see Jack's first hockey practice. Mostly because no one else in the family was willing to wake up at 6 a.m. to drag his ass to an 8 a.m. ice time.

I was weirdly nervous to take him. There is a lot of equipment and gear associated with hockey and I was concerned that I was going to do something wrong. I'm not sure what my mind imagined the consequence of a hockey gear fuck up would be, but it was enough to cause me considerable stress.

Turns out we got everything pretty much right, or at least faked it well enough. Jack looked like a real hockey player.

There IS smiling in hockey.

The really great thing is that the hockey program Jack is doing is specifically for kids with developmental disabilities. It's a fantastic organization. I can't quite believe that his interest in hockey and the existence of this team coincided like they did.

Almost all of the gear he is wearing came from a storage locker full of donated equipment that the players get to borrow at no charge. Not only that, but high schoolers volunteer to mentor each player one-on-one every week.

Jack's mentor had his work cut out for him. Jack has only been ice skating once and on Saturday,  managed to fall down even before he got out on the ice.

Then he proceeded to fall down on the ice. Over and over.

At some point he even stopped trying to stand up and just started scooting around on his knees. His mentor, whose name happened to be Sam, stuck with him the whole time. I could see him talking to Jack and encouraging him even from my spot across the rink.

Dude must be cold in those thin sweatpants.

I was a little worried that Jack's first few practices might involve, you know, learning to skate, but the thing Jack has been telling me over and over is that he wants to learn to hit the puck with his hockey stick. So I was really happy to see Mentor Sam let Jack hit a puck back and forth with him.

Look! Jack is standing up!

I'm so proud of Jack. Skating can be a tough thing to learn, but he hung in there for the whole hour. It's a good thing I was able to find hockey socks to cover his legs though (and good luck finding hockey gear in my area, by the way) because he ended up covered in copious amounts of snow.

 The socks fell down after repeated knee scooting though.

Jack was rendered pretty speechless by the end of the practice hour. I think he was exhausted. As he walked into the locker room, Mentor Sam stopped where I was hugging my tiny hockey player. "You did a great job today, Jack!" he told him. Then, when one of the dads asked him if he was coming back next week, Jack gave him a big thumbs up.

Then we watched Zamboni patterns.

When I asked Jack later that afternoon what part of our busy day had been his favorite, he said, "Hockey. When I was with Sam."

I'm really excited about things to come.

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