Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Drop the Puck
A little background. My husband played professional hockey for about 12 years. We met during a summer break, and as a Southern girl, I knew nothing about the sport. In fact, I was shocked, as I had always pictured hockey players as a huge toothless brutes, you know, Neanderthal types. Doug was nothing like that, and had a baby face, was average height, thin, and had all of his teeth - which he told me later was because he won all of his fights.
Anyway, I immediately went to the book store and bought a copy of Hockey for Dummies - yes, seriously! (I also remember pulling out the encyclopedia to figure out which country he was from, but that is a story for another day.) We had great fun reading through the book together and Doug would often have me "demonstrate" my version of the referee moves/calls for his friends. Whatever. I didn't care if they were laughing at me.
I guess I had no idea at that time that hockey would become such an integral part of our relationship. Doug continued his career and I watched and learned and enjoyed. We have so many happy memories of games and playoffs and functions and friends. Such a uniquely special time in our lives that will never be again.
So, Doug has been retired now for 6 years or so, and we don't get to go to the games much, in fact, rarely at all. The kids are just too much to chase after, and they go to bed pretty early, too. I think Brodie will be fine this year at games, but Blayd will still be a LOT of work. I really haven't even thought much about hockey in recent years, kinda packed it away with the pictures, news clippings, and trophies.
When we were at Brodie's first practice the other day, I stepped out from the parent meeting in the hospitality suites, to the mezzanine, overlooking the ice rink. One of our local players was finishing practice alone.
No one was in the arena, and it was very "echoy" and quiet. I smiled as I listened to the smooth sound of his skate blades as they cut through the ice. I heard the firm crack of the stick as it hit the ice, and the loud pop of the puck as it made contact. I shuddered at the sharp PING of the puck on the crossbar, as it hit and tapped across the ice in to the net.
I heard all of these sounds and smiled and remembered. I like hockey. Drop the puck. :)