Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Personal Christmas Story

This past Sunday night I played in an adult pick up hockey game in St. Paul. It was a primarily a group of older men and women who had known each other for some time. Because it was holiday break there were quite a few new people including a couple of high school players. Since there was no school the next day, I brought my 6 year-old son along. He enjoys watching me play and being in the middle of the action. I have him dress in full equipment even if he only gets to skate during warmups or between periods. I want him to be safe while on the ice and on the bench.

Anyway, the players on my team all wanted my son to come out and play during the game. So, he went out and followed along and they fed him the puck. They really were good to him and he skated end to end 5 or 6 times and shot on the other goalie. This went on for most of the game. (It was tough to get him off the ice once he was on!) I was pretty proud of him. He got right in there and wasn't intimidated by the bigger guys -- and gals. Finally, my son took the puck the length of the ice, weaved through a few defensive players, and stuck it in the five hole for a goal! Everyone went crazy and my son was beaming. After the game, one of the guys came into the locker room and said that they usually don't do this but they were giving out the 3 stars of the game tonight. My son got the first star and the game puck. This guy even went about the formality of shaking my son's hand.

Later, I had to explain to my boy that he had been playing with, sitting on the bench with, and getting a handshake from Governor Tim Pawlenty. I don't think that meant as much to him as the goal but he seemed to gain interest after I explained what a Governor was.

Although we didn't get home from the game until after 10:00 pm, my son had a hard time falling to sleep that night. And when he did, he had that puck clutched in his hand.

Joy comes from unexpected things and places. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Jud

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