Saturday, February 24, 2007

Patrick's Playoff Game #2

Our team 2
Other team 2

I didn't see the game, as I was taking Damon to his game. It even went into overtime, during which time, Patrick had a nice shot on net that was stopped. There weren't any career-ending injuries, so that is good.

Patrick's team manager did a fantastic job photographing the team. It cost less and we got the photos back much sooner. I love Patrick's photo.

Damon is still in regular season play and his game was tied 3-3.

Patrick's Playoff game #1

Good-guys 2
Mean-kids* 0

Patrick's team won their first playoff game! The energy level was really low, and our kids looked tired, but I guess the other team's kids were more tired. One of our players was hit from behind, breaking his collarbone. A penalty was called and the other player was ejected from the game and given a one game suspension. So now, this boy on our team, who has practiced 5 days a week since last August for this moment, is going to miss the rest of the playoffs and the tryouts for next season.

Game 2 just started, I'm waiting for the outcome.

* The kind of kids who don't apologize to six year-olds, even when they accidentally hit them in the eye with their sticks while walking through the hall to leave the arena.

Friday, February 23, 2007

"Oh Mommy, I'm so sorry."

One thing you never want to hear from a boy holding a hockey stick is, "Oh Mommy, I'm so sorry." Then he hugged me tightly and said, "I SOOOO broke the window."

You can always count on kids to keep you grounded, when you are waxing philosophic about the meaning of life and death, they yank you back into the here and now. I've been keeping busy today talking to window repair contractors and stained glass shops.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Remembering happier times...

As I type, my dear Grandpa Sam lays dying. He has been in palliative care for a week now. So much for the 24-48 hours that they predicted for him when he was admitted. He has clung to life despite severe septic infection and a heart attack. Still there were some really tough moral decisions to be made.
It was a struggle for my mother, who is power of care, to make a decision. Other family members had opinions of their own, driven by how uncomfortable they were with watching their beloved father struggle for breath, they hoped he would go quickly and peacefully. For my mother his comfort was of utmost concern, but some of the measures were prolonging his death. My mother had to struggle with what his wishes would be. I suggested that as an unquestioning man of faith, her answer should come from the church, and that she should presume that he would want a Roman Catholic Living Will. She sought the counsel of the priest, but sadly was not helped much at all by that particular priest. However, while she struggled with this, his deterioration has continued and it has come to a point where things such as fluids, were only serving to flood his lungs, and any feeds through his feeding tube would only serve to cause him him to aspirate some. So barring heroic measures, the decision has been taken from her hands.

Now all that I can do is pray that this wonderful man has a peaceful journey to heaven. I know that he will find his way to heaven. In my dreams he is helping God by bouncing of all of the babies and children in heaven upon his knee.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sometimes goalies happen

The most important thing I have learned as a parent is, "Never say never." This past weekend, I learned that this applies to hockey too.

Matt and I always vowed that none of our kids would be goalies. NEVER. Aside from that astronomical cost of goalie equipment, the experience of seeing the 12th goal slide past a 5 year old Patrick convinced me that neither my heart, nor my stomach could handle being a goalie's mom.

Damon really enjoyed his experiences as a goalie, and to his credit, he was a pretty decent goalie. Still, it was easy enough to convince him that his size and strength as a defenseman were far more valuable to his team.

Back in December, in the middle of a crazy weekend, Campbell had his first turn in net. Matt was accompanying Patrick and his team on a weekend away series. Damon had a tournament near Grandpa Bob's house, so the girls and I were there with Damon. Campbell's coach's family offered to keep him for the weekend so that he wouldn't miss the team Christmas Party and his turn in net. Damon's team lost in the semi-finals, giving me just enough time to get home to see Campbell's game. The photos here are of him on that day.

First a little bit of background, at the beginning of the season, MB, one of our players really started to stand out. By December, he was easily scoring 8 or 10 goals a game. His parents cautiously decided to move him up to the next age level so that he would be challenged a bit more. So when Campbell first played net, MB dominated the play, and Campbell only saw 3 shots on net. 1 went in, but we still won because MB scored a few hat-tricks.

That same week we had an "interlock" game with another arena's team, and no other goalies would have a chance to practice, Campbell got a second chance in net. This time he faced many more shots, and showed some impressive moves, helping his team win the game with a score of 5-2. Campbell won a "Super Sport" award for that game and I heard from all of the other parents how wonderful he was.

After watching everybody on the team took a turn in net, our coach needed to decide who was going to be in net for playoffs. I knew that he was impressed with Campbell, so I told Matt to tell the coach that he could have Campbell in net for alternate games, because I needed a week in between to recover my nerves. So when the coach asked Matt if Campbell would be the goalie for the playoffs, Matt looked down at a beaming Campbell and said, "Sure".

For weeks, Campbell let everybody know that he was going to be the playoff goalie. Family members, classmates, our family doctor, the cashier at the grocery store, they all knew that he, Campbell, would be the goalie for the playoffs. When it came time for a haircut, Campbell decided he needed a goalie haircut. So he asked Patrick who the best goalie in the whole wide world was. Patrick named a few names, and I did some google image searches. No offence to Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden or Dominik Hasek, but when we came across this photo of Martin Brodeur, it was clear to me who the best goalie in the whole wide world was, the one with the haircut that best suited Campbell! The next day we were at the arena all day for Patrick's school hockey tournament. Every hockey acquaintance we ran into at the tournament heard this, "I have da same haiwcut as da best goalie in da whole woild. Mawmmy, what's his name again? Oh yeah Mahtin Brodeu. An' I'm the goalie for da playoffs." At this point I was humouring him, but hoping that this was a phase and that a few tough games between the pipes and he would be singing a different song.

So Sunday rolls around, and we are playing against the top team in the league without MB. This team is used to winning with double digit scores. Campbell made some good saves, and that old feeling of dread in my stomach started to go away. He let a few in, but he got better with each save. By the third period, I found myself hoping that they would get another shot on him so that he could save it again! And I must say that he was just so cute doing it! My stomach was hurting, but that was from all of the cheering and laughing that we were doing watching him hop around in net. He kept his team in it, and the final score was 4-1 for the other team. The shots on net were 31-8 for the other team! He stopped 27. At his age, the goalies normally stop 50% of the shots. The other team's coach came to the bench, where Matt was as an assistant coach, to tell our coaches that the goalie was phenomenal. He asked where the goalie's dad was and Matt raised his hand. And he told Matt that he had a goalie on his hands. Other parents said, "that kid needs to be a goalie." In the hallways, I overheard strangers who had watched the game, "Did you see that kid in net, he was awesome."

When I got to the dressing room, I was surprised to see a teary-eyed Campbell. He was devastated. He wanted nothing less than a shut out. Matt and I reminded him that he played a very good team and then the coach started giving a speech about what an outstanding job Campbell did. Every parent and child from the team came and congratulated Campbell on his performance before they went home. That gave him some comfort.

His brothers gave him respect for the rest of the day. Damon was offering to carry his equipment to the van for him. Patrick was fussing over him all day. And little Campbell just basked in the glory.

So I learned that goalies do happen. And so does shameless bragging. Never say never.