Hockey has been a strange mistress. At times she leaves me full of excietment, high on life, satisfied. Conversly, she also can leave me dissapointed, angry, and empty.
This weekend will be such a time. It is the last tournament of the year for my son's bantam team. What makes this weekend different is it will be the last time my son will play. He has expressed his desire to leave the game that his dad had loved so much. I am OK with that, after all I am not one of those dads that wants to relive and play through his child. My dad told me when I was a young player, "Murray, when the game is no longer fun then it is time to leave hockey" . My dad was right then and those words I have passed onto my favorite goalie, my son.
I will miss the joy of watching him play. Seeing that little frame of his guarding the net. Ben is smaller than most of his teammates, but has always played like he's 8 feet tall. He's fearless.
Being a goalie parent has always been a bit more stressful than I ever thought it would be. But everytime he stopped the puck, I would beam with pride. For me it wasn't about wins and losses, it has been about doing your best. I know his mother also feels every save, every goal, such is the way of every goalie mom. He has won, he has lost and he has had fun. But somewhere along the line the fun stopped.
He had been ready to give it up a year ago, but hung in for one more season. This season proved to be even more turbulant that last. He hung in there and I am proud he did.
I hope that this weekend when he takes the goal for that final time, he playes his best, has fun and the game gives to him, what it had given to me, joy in playing.
My favorate goalie guarding the net