Sunday, March 9, 2014

Wishy-Washy (But Standing My Ground)

I love hockey just as much as the next person, maybe even more, and I think I put my fair share of time into it. More than the average parent, that’s for sure, but it’s feast or famine with this sport. You have nothing for several months, and then you’re immersed in it to where it becomes your life. By the end of the season, you just want it to be done, or at least I want it to be done. 

If it was a simply case of friends getting together and playing hockey for fun, that would be great, but it’s so much more complicated than that. You have families that are obsessed with the game, and are talking smack about their own kids and other people’s kids, and gossiping. It’s a strange environment, and one that’s hard not to get sucked into.

One aspect of this obsession is that some people just don’t want it to end. On the one hand, I understand, but we need to be reasonable. Some of us would do anything to squeeze out one more weekend, and that’s what’s happening right now. The season is over, the kids went to the state tournament, did a great job and had a great time, and now is an ideal time to end it all on a good note. There are, however, countless opportunities to keep it going.

Now to clear, we are still doing spring hockey, but it’s a much different beast. We are in Spring Fling, which is all about fun. No coaches, no keeping score, just pond hockey with no pressure. There are opportunities to play on select teams and enter tournaments, some of which have been offered to us, specifically N. At first I thought it would have been cool for him to do them, but he balked at all of them. He said he felt like one season was enough, and I respect that, albeit somewhat reluctantly. After ruminating on it, I realize how sensible he is being.

The problem is we are in a hyper-competitive environment where everyone is trying to get ahead, and all I hear about is how every kid is going this select team or this tournament. It’s hard to ignore, but I’m trying my best. These situations prey on our neuroses about doing what’s best for our kids, but you have to ask yourself, what is the point of all this hockey? I won’t get into it now, but I don’t think it’s realistic or healthy.

On that note, I’ve had to play the Bad Guy and put my foot down. A’s season is over, but for whatever reason, the powers that be want to play in one last tournament. When I heard about it, my first response was, literally, “Count me out.” Then one of the coaches called me and tried to change my mind, and I buckled under pressure and reversed course. It doesn’t help that A really wants to do it, mainly because, you guessed it, her friends are doing it.

Anyway, I had to reverse course again and tell them no thank you. This made me unpopular amongst the other coaches, the other players who want A to play, and of course, with A. For full disclosure, A has been very cool and very mature about it. She has not fought us over it, and was well within her rights to indicate that she wants to go and is bummed about not going, but ended it at that. Kudos to her for being such a f-ing cool kid, she’s awesome.

Of course I feel guilty, but also feel like maybe it’s not a bad thing to close the door on the season and move on. Plus, I hate buckling under pressure, and don’t always understand why people don’t simply respect our decisions and leave it at that. Why do they gotta give me such a hard time? I realize part of that is knowing I’m a pushover, but who wants to get something at the expense of another person’s peace of mind? Clearly several of my friends do.

Oh well, you can’t have it all, right? Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to CanonFire09 for the pic.

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