I guess I should share. After all my angst, Sam made the team. He is very proud of himself - cloud nine really. Makes my mommy-heart swell.
I’d like to say he made the team with no difficulty but really I have no idea. There were some really talented and skilled kids on the ice. I’d like to think he was one of the better skaters but my eyes are clouded by “Mom-glasses.” There were a few kids who were head and shoulders better than he was but, as pointed out by one of his coaches, he was pretty good for a kid who didn’t play hockey all summer. Half the kids trying out were on spring hockey teams. As I’ve mentioned earlier I think – try as we might we couldn’t even get Sam a tryout for spring hockey because we’re not part of the right crowd. The coach who mentioned Sam's skills was one of the people who wouldn't return our calls when we were trying to get him a tryout for a spring team. I like to think his remarks were an apology of sorts, an acknowledgement that he missed out. Daniel thinks I'm reading too much into it.
The kids were all impressive and with few exceptions it was clear that they all belonged on a team. Skill levels from one kid to the next were very close. In the end, they only had to cut two players. I didn’t know one of the children cut; the other boy was the son of Sam’s soccer coach. I REALLY wanted him on the team (because he’s a nice kid with nice parents and because it would make scheduling much easier for me!) and it still bothers me that he was cut. I can’t imagine cutting 8 year olds and to be honest I don’t know why the teams couldn’t have run with an extra kid each (yes – I understand it would mess up the lines still…). I had convinced myself by the Monday tryout that they weren’t going to cut anyone and was shocked when I didn’t see J. on the ice. It had been obvious that J. wasn’t as strong as some of the others (which I guess is saying something). Sad as it made me, it was a fair cut and J.’s dad did acknowledge he didn’t think J. would make the team.
Three other boys from Sam’s HL team last year tried out. They all made it. There are two teams and all three of the other boys are on the other team, which thrills me because it means I don’t have to hang with the parents who snubbed us. I dropped all pretense of friendship during the weekend tryouts and it was quite freeing. I made no effort and that was generally reciprocated with only one parent who seemed bothered (and embarrassed) by it. I hung with Kamryn and read my Ipad. When Daniel was there we sat together in the stands away from the others and just “were.” One of the grandparents attending tryouts “adopted me.” I think he was intrigued because I wasn’t white – as a family we bring the only “colour” to the novice level. He is quite an influential guy so that was interesting - kind of like being invited by the Captain of the football team to share his lunch table. He was funny and nice and reminded me of my own Dad.
Sam is on a team with three of his soccer teammates. I’m guessing that was intentional (as one of the boys father’s is a coach and I’m pretty sure he orchestrated it). We also got the coach I liked. I don’t dislike the other coach – okay I’m lying - I do dislike the other coach; he's part of the "in" crowd I despise so much. Sam’s coach (cool but not cliquey AND his wife is awesome) coached Sam when he was 5 and 6 and knows how to bring out Sam’s best qualities and deal with his worst qualities. He’s organized and on the ball. He impresses me, on and off the ice. So I’m happy there.
Speaking of on the ball – the team was named Monday and by the time I got to work on Tuesday I had their schedule for the coming month – including an out of town tournament. It’s quite a schedule and where I thought we were a busy family before – this is nuts! It’s going to take a great deal of coordination but what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger.
Yesterday, on the bus from work to an exhibition game I bumped into another team mom. We had a long time to talk on the way out to the very rural arena that is our home arena. I had noticed that she too sat by herself during tryouts. Despite the fact that her husband is the team trainer, she REALLY doesn’t fit in. I think she probably had her son (who is a wickedly good hockey player!) late in life. He’s her only. She shared with me that she doesn’t have a cell phone and they don’t own a computer (I didn’t think there was anyone like that!). She seems rather shy but she’s really nice. This might be a good experience.
1 year ago