For as long as Hunter has been able to talk he has been a “hockey player” that is all he wants to be. Odd considering we don’t watch hockey in our house and we rely exclusively on Netflix for our television uses. So, at 2 years old he was on skates. Almost daily for months, he was on the ice. Only for a little bit at a time as he was on only 2 and just turned 3.
Over the summer our town pulls the ice off the rink they hold events there. I never thought anything of it, until I had a little “hockey player” who wanted nothing more than to skate So when they put the ice back on and added a skating class for his age group, of course, we jumped on that ship.
The first round he excelled, he was the best in his class bar none. Which of course only encouraged his need for hockey. The second was a bit different. Hunter is a perfectionist, to say the least. Everything has to be perfect. So when it comes to skating lessons, he makes sure every task is completed 100% and takes it slowly so he doesn’t fall. He won’t take any shortcuts. Which means he is at the back of the group. Always.
As you can probably imagine this is a serious confidence buster for a 4-year-old. He skated off the ice in tears. My heart broke in that moment. AT 4 years old he was ready to give up on his dream. Luckily after a pep talk and a hug from mom, he got back out there, but the next two classes weren’t the same. But he didn’t give up. A few one on one lessons with just me and him and his last session was the best. He had never skated so fast in his life.
Watching you kids fail is hard, important but hard. But, he learned a vital lesson. He can’t always be first. He can’t always win. He can’t give up. As much as watching him want to give up was hard, and as much as it would have been easy to just go home; words can not explain the pride I felt watching him get back out there. Seeing how proud he was of himself when he finished his last lesson was the best part, though.
There is always going to be someone better than you, but all you can do is be the best that you can be. Do I think this will be the last time he has to be “reminded” of this? No, but hopefully the next time won’t be so hard, and for now… I have a hockey player again.