Doubting that he would remain interested for more than a month or two, I enrolled him in ice skating classes. Robby was upfront with his instructor at their first meeting, explaining that he needed to learn how to skate so that he could play hockey. She explained that he would need to pass four skating classes in order to demonstrate competencies in the required areas.
Undeterred by the work involved, Robby stepped onto the ice to begin his lesson. During the past 14 months we have seen him struggle and triumph. He had to repeat the second course because he wasn't able to complete all of the skills. Instead of becoming frustrated, he simply kept trying. He never gave up, and he never complained. He remained steadfast in his goal of playing hockey.
Last Monday, after finishing the obstacle course designed to test his skill level, he received the news that he has been working so hard to hear: he has finally been approved to begin hockey. To say that he was proud of himself would be an understatement. He was downright beaming!
Fully padded with all of his newly purchased hockey gear (thank you, Nana), Robby practically floated on the ice. I don't think I've ever seen him as excited as he was when he introduced himself to "Coach Sam." With Robby smiling from ear to ear, Scott radiating "That's my boy" pride and my wiping away my the unscheduled tears of joy as I watched my little boy achieve his goal, we must have been quite a sight for onlookers.
If our emotions didn't tip our hand to being novice hockey parents, Robby's attire certainly did. Neither Scott nor I have ever played hockey, so trying to pad him up was a confusing. We thought we had dressed him correctly, an illusion which was quickly destroyed the first time he fell on the ice. The hard plastic of his knee pads slid against the smooth ice, forcing him to contort into a series of splits and face plants each time he tried to stand after a fall. Coach Sam came over in the middle of practice to talk with us, suggesting we put the pads under his pants for the next session.
Despite the uniform mishap, I am overwhelmed with the pride that can only come from seeing your child accomplish a dream. He worked so hard to earn the opportunity to play that seeing him all geared up erased all of my hockey apprehensions. I think I am becoming a hockey mom, and I couldn't be happier.