My son's hockey season recently started. His skating and puck handling improved tremendously after only one week of sports camp. It dawned on me that he might move up a level in house league. It was not to be. His league only has enough players for a blue team or a green team, and white seems to be a touch above his skill level. With so many first time players and skaters, it looks as though the team will stay in the green level.
At first I was a bit disappointed but quickly came to my senses. The first time I laced up my son's skates I vowed to never, ever become one of "those parents" - the ones who shove instead of support, who guilt instead of guide, who pounce instead of praise. For a few minutes, upset that my spawn had gone down a level instead of up, I became one of "those parents" and was disgusted with myself.
House league is about the sheer fun and joy of hockey, at least it should be. The kids on the team who had never skated until tryouts deserve to play Canada's game as much as the ones who were seemingly born into blades. House league should never be about what colour level our kids are in; it has to be about learning the basics and enjoying the game.
This season I'll be seeing green and loving every minute of it.