Meet the block’s newest hockey mom and dad! Albeit a tad unwillingly. Amie and I weren’t exactly bursting at the seams to put the boys in hockey. We wanted them to learn how to skate but wanted to steer clear of hockey and all the ‘fun’ things it brings. Expensive fees, overzealous hockey moms and dads, hectic schedules, no, we wanted none of that. Especially not when soccer was so much cheaper and played during the summer when one could enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, you can’t keep a kid from playing what he wants to play and that’s how we ended up in the middle of U9 hockey tryouts.
Mikhail and Kenyan are both signed up for their first year of hockey. Neither of them have had nothing more than a few hours of community public skating under their belts. Mikhail, because of his age had to tryout to determine where he would be placed depending on his skating and puck handling ability. Lol.
On Sunday, I took him to the rink having no clue what to expect, being a virgin hockey parent and all. I got him all suited up and released him into the care of the coaches and evaluators. I later learned that he was as surprised as I was. We were expecting kids at all levels to be among those trying out for placements but no, the gate opened and out skated about 40 kids plus 1. They were gliding around the ice as if they were born doing it. I groaned inwardly and felt bad for subjecting my little guy to this. I imagined how he must have felt as each routine was introduced, with increasing difficulty level. Stick handling around pylons, one-on-one races, puck handling, skating backwards.
I was extremely proud of the kid for sticking it out like a trooper. With grim determination, he plodded around the ice trying to obey the evaluator’s commands as best as he could. I must admit that he was stronger than his daddy was at that age. I would have found a way to sneak off that ice, never to return. I would have been so angry at my parents for subjecting me to such utter embarrassment. Not Mikhail. He lasted until the end and when it was finally over, he voiced his thoughts. “Dad! they paired me up with a professional! It wasn’t fair. I could barely skate and they paired me up with him.” No, he did not want to go back.
Unfortunately, he had to return to the scene of the crime today for phase 2.trying for the A1 team. He was even more reluctant to go and asked about missing it. Of course we said no. He was glad we did and we were glad we did. The marked improvement in his skating and confidence was noticeable by all. He was turning without falling and seemed much better on his skates. the kid is going to be just fine. Not so sure about his parents though…