A couple of weekends ago N had a tournament down in Springfield MA and his team did quite well, bringing home the championship. All in all, I think he's got a pretty good team, and the outlook for the season is promising, to say the least. I'll leave it at that.
The important thing was that the players, including N, had a blast hanging with their friends and being silly in the pool and in the hallways. They really had a good time and they're a nice group of kids. They are, however, at that age where being cool becomes the focus of their attention and divisions will form. I can see it already happening in the locker room since I'm a coach, and it's interesting and strange at the same time. Kids really change over time, and some of it is not always for the best, but they're young and developing and this is all part of the process.
One of the biggest source of neurosis for a parent, especially an OCD nut like myself, is making sure your own kids are bonding and having fun, and fortunately I think both our kids fall into that camp. A will always have a good time because she's so sociable and makes friends so easily. N is a little more introverted and isn't necessarily the center of attention, which is fine because I think the people who need to garner all the attention have their own issues. Part of what makes it work for N is he's a good player, which will earn you some clout in the locker room. Plus, he's developed his own friendships with several of the players and while they are not necessarily the studs in the locker room, they have a lot of fun together.
I've seen a similar dynamic in the older girl's team, where the leaders are the aloof kids who are too cool to hang out and be silly, they sit in their own corner and act distant and removed. Too cool for school, as the saying goes. The same is true for the boys, though to a lesser degree because they are boys and they are younger. They are enjoying their moment in the sun being the big man on campus. N has some clout with these guys because he's good, which speaks the universal language of athletic ability, but in the end he enjoys hanging with some of the other players who like to let loose and be silly. They just have a lot of fun, and I'm glad for it. Trying to fit in with the "it" crowd takes a lot of effort and attitude, and from my own personal experience, can be fleeting and unsatisfying. Then again, I'm old and boring, so what do I know?
Whatever be the case, the kids had fun, I was able to relax a little because I was away from my domestic duties, and we had a fun, hockey filled weekend. What more can a hockey dad ask for?
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Jason Meserve for the pic.