We were away this past weekend at an ice hockey tournament for my ten year old son. His team won the tournament so he was thrilled. The other guys on his team had siblings there and the hotel had a pool so my other kids were happy as well. I had vague ideas of doing a "Hockey Tournament by the Numbers" post this morning. Something a little like:
90= the number of consecutive minutes our six year old spent in the pool Friday night.
82= the number of pages I read aloud of The Mysterious Benedict Society on our road trip.
6 =number of pages I got to read in my own book, Elizabeth George's Careless in Red. Back when I was pregnant, I craved her mysteries the way some women crave pickles and ice cream. Don't worry; I'm just reading this one because I saw it on the new fiction shelf at the library.
6= also equals the number of rows my daughter knitted on the scarf she's making. It annoys me no end that she can knit and I cannot.
3= number of boys from our team in the penalty box at one time during a game!
Okay, you get an idea of what I considered writing. It probably would have been much more interesting and well written than all of that. But the last few minutes we spent in the ice hockey rink before heading home overshadowed everything else that came before, and I would rather write about those minutes. As my son's team was celebrating and packing up in the locker room, I noticed a number of tweens and teenagers in wheelchairs and walking with braces and crutches arrive at the rink. They were there to play a game of sled hockey. I had never seen sled hockey before, but I've become a fan. It pretty much follows the rules of standard ice hockey, but players with mobility limitations sit in specially designed sleds. There are two blades on the bottom of the sled and the players propel themselves on the ice with ice picks that look like small ice hockey sticks and can be used to hit the puck. My ten year old son had a lot of questions about how the players would get off the bench (they don't; they line up on the sides), how they would hit the puck (quite hard), and other aspects of the game. Just a few minutes of watching answered all of his questions and impressed him. It was fascinating and inspiring. Clearly those players love the game of ice hockey and weren't going to be kept off the ice by their physical challenges. It was very inspirational to me as a parent. I've got to grumble less about driving carpools and lugging equipment around for my kids' sports and activities and spend more time appreciating how fortunate we are. It was a great weekend from start to finish.