Today was Jordan’s second week of hockey school. He loves it. This week as soon as the coaches opened the doors, the kids were allowed to start skating and getting warmed up. He went right out.
I worried about him a bit through the lesson portion of the day. Jordan is not only younger than the other kids, but he is smaller and less skilled skating wise. But one thing I will say is that I never saw him without a smile on his face.The kid has heart. The skill will come. But he has the most important aspect of the game down and that is the love of playing and of learning.
He kept looking to his coaches for approval and assistance. He is still trying to get swizzles down (something I wish I had more time to work on with him, but public skating times that are convenient are few and far between). I did take note of one thing though. At the end of the lesson portion they have the kids scrimmage. When Jordan is in scrimmage mode, his skating is smoother, more fluid and he is faster. When he is reacting instead of trying to copy the actions of others, his natural ability comes out. It put my mind at ease from my earlier worries that he wasn’t keeping up with the other kids.
I understand that at his age, the difference between his physical ability and that of children a few years older than him is huge. I just worried that he would be discouraged. As it turns out, I was the only person discouraged because he took the lesson with a sunny disposition and motivation that could not be shaken, no matter how many times he fell. He said to me after his lesson “Mommy, it is hard to get the puck.” I asked him if he had fun though. He said yes. Then that is all that matters.
The parents though are something else. During the scrimmage two of the dads were yelling “Defense! Defense” at their boys. This is hockey school, not a real game or even real teams. Simmer. Jordan needs to actually work on looking at me less and paying attention to what he is doing more. I of course cheered for Jordan and encouraged him if he looked my way, but just to keep trying.
The kids are sweethearts. Banks’ son and the son of the mom I talked to last week both talked to Jordan today. Children talking about favorite hockey players and equipment is comical but so sweet and innocent. To be that age and pretend you are flying around the ice, dreaming of being like your favorite player is something special.
I decided to try and be social today, but the conversations the parents closest to me were having made my whole body hurt. Adam Banks’ dad apparently has a cousin who played in the NHL, but now he plays “in that league below the Pens overseas.” Ummm the AHL or the KHL? Because it isn’t both, dude. He then went on about how fighting in the NHL must stop because it is ruining careers like Sidney Crosby’s. I must have missed the game where Sid and David Steckel beat the crap out of each other. I didn’t say a word but to pipe up with “AHL?” when Banksy was trying to figure out which league people play in at what level.
So they went on and on and one of the mom’s chimed in that the Pens are so secretive and no one knows anything about Kris Letang. So I said “He is working out again but he is still having symptoms.” There. I was helpful! Right? WRONG. She looked at Adam Banks’ dad and excused herself, stepped aside and said to me, “Excuse me, are you some sort of Pens insider?”
No, you abominable witch, I am not an insider. But I am capable of reading the Trib and Post Gazette websites.
Another mom implied to me that I wasn’t going to be able to afford to keep Jordan in hockey.
Making buddies with other parents is going to be a bit harder than I anticipated.