Here he is - Timbits hockey is all he has talked about for the past year (when he first found out it existed). Playing hockey he's talked about for much, much longer (and he's only 5!) Anyone who knows Elijah well, knows how much he loves hockey. He watches hockey videos, reads hockey books, plays street hockey, wears hockey clothes, gets excited when he hears the scores on the radio...he just absolutely loves it. I don't know where this love of hockey came from originally. Jonathan and I have always enjoyed hockey, but it's not a priority for us. In fact, most games out here are on after Elijah's bedtime. However it started, the fact is it did - and hockey love has hit him hard. There really was no doubt that he would play this year.
Last night was his very first practice. Not only that, his first practice was at Harbour Station - where the Saint John Sea Dogs play. How cool is that? How excited a child did I have in my house? You can just imagine. He is just so confident that this is something he is supposed to do. In fact last year when we were working on the mechanics of how to skate, he took to it as work, hard work. As soon as someone put a hockey stick in his hand, the work part of it was gone - skating is just part of hockey and he decided he could do it - motivation!
The first steps on the ice were wobbily ones. And he slipped. I was so focussed on watching him and encouraging him. This was the first time he'd been on the ice without one of us beside him. But he did so well and each time he slipped, he just picked himself up again.
I took a look around the arena and all at once noticed one of the cutest things I'd ever seen. All the little hockey players were laying flat on the ice. All of them were determined to get up. All kept slipping down. But it was good. They were happy! They were playing hockey!
I was really impressed with the coaches. There were 5 of them there. All very kind hockey-loving, understanding men. They took their time with each and every one of these boys and girls. Encouraging them to get up. Showing them how to balance. How to use the stick to their advantage in skating. And Elijah started to get it. The stretches he was up on the ice skating increased longer and longer. He listened to all the hockey rules (sticks stay on the ice, gloves stay on the hands and listen to the coach). He stood 'hockey ready' when asked. And they practiced getting up and down over and over again. (Quite funny to see 20 kids all fall down on cue). I must say I was really happy to see Elijah stick with it and not give up. I really am so proud of him.
At the end of practice he was sweaty like a real hockey player and just beaming for the love of the game!
We had to celebrate a little of course, with a hot chocolate and a couple of Timbits!
And the winner is...
2 years ago