On The Ice

Note: Quinn is now nine years old and still plays hockey and spends most of his time upright because he's become a pretty good skater.

Change in the Hockey Rink

Originally posted Saturday, November 26, 2005

My five year old grandson,
Quinn, has started playing hockey. Saturday morning at 11:00 is practice. His
call came at 9:15.

"Grandpa, are you coming to

Yes, Quinn I'll be there."

"Is Ahma? And if she says
no, tell her she has to come."

His first 3 practices found me
out-of-town – an excuse that carries little weight when you're five – so this
was the you-could-get-toppled-from-the-top-of-the-grandparents-list session. I
knew my job: be there and smile a lot. (Smiling not laughing, just to be
clear.) It occurred to me as I watched that five-year olds do change pretty
well. Think of what hockey does to your world.

Skating not walking.

Coaches not parents.

Ice not grass.

Rules for everything.

Oh, by the way, this is all at once! The minute you venture out on the ice
everything is different and the only way you can change back is to leave the
rink – with everybody else watching you give up.

So, you fall down a lot! The adults in the stands think it's cute and comment
on the luck of a lower center of gravity. You just think it's hard – falling on
ice – what's a center of gravity any way? You look around and watch all the
other kids and do what they do – get up every time you fall. That's right,
every time you fall you get back up and skate a little further the next time.

Practice is only 45 minutes. When you're done you go into the locker room,
change out of your gear with your Dad's help, towel off the sweat, and come out
to hear your mom, your Grandpa, and your Ahma tell you you did a great job. But
still you'd really like a nap. And because you're 5 that's exactly what you do!
No apologies cause no matter what age, change can be hard and naps are a good
Quinn's Hockey Nap




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