After over 6 months of taxiing and cheering both my boys in their soccer, hockey and basketball matches, it’s time to put away the hockey sticks, the shin pads, the mouth guards, soccer balls and basketballs away for another season.
As like most families, weekends can be a bit of a juggle with sports. Luckily for us, Friday night was basketball starting anytime from 4pm to 5.45pm and finishing with some type of Friday night take-away. But Saturdays were always a headache. Soccer games were generally local, most starting at 9am (with training at 8.30am), but hockey could be anywhere from a 10 minute drive from the soccer game to an hour away or more. And of course, hockey started at 9.45am with a 9am start for training. So every week, the games clashed. When they both played home games, I would drop one off to soccer, drop the other off to hockey, go back to soccer to see the last half of the game, and return to hockey to see the last half of that game. But when they were polar opposites away, there were a few favours to ask from fellow parents who didn’t need to do the Saturday morning shuttle with other kids. The boys only missed a handful of games during the season due to traveling, school concerts and the occasional logistics, so I think between us (and the help of the hockey coach and mums at school), we got there in the end.
I tried to make it as even as possible – miss one son’s game one week, and the other son’s game the next time venues clashed. It was the only way it would be fair. But last week was a hard decision to make – see the soccer star get presented his trophy for the end of the year, or see the hockey champ play in the semi-finals. I had to do the presentation, and his game went so well. They won 4-2 to an older team (FYI, they play the U8 and the U9 in the same competition in soccer, basketball & hockey, so there is always a younger group and an older group, which also means the ‘more experienced group’ and the ‘less experienced group’, not necessarily playing each other each round, but in the same rounds.). Our boys, who all go to school together, and most play in the same basketball team, started singing ‘We are family, but not me’ to the Sister Sledge song while doing the conga. It was very funny.
The hockey game apparently was a nail-biter as well. Our team were 4th on the ladder playing the top team on the ladder in the semi-final. They were even 2-2 up until the last minute when the other team scored the winning shot. Even if it stayed level, the other team would have won based on being first on the ladder. So it was a triumphant loss on the basis that they were so close to beating the top team.
So tonight was the final basketball match. Our team had started to shine over the last two-three weeks, and again playing one of the better teams in the league, the boys drew at 10-10 until we were fouled with 16 seconds to go, and the other team had to do a 2-point shoot out, missing the first but getting the second one to beat us by a point. The good thing about our kids is that they feel like they win even when they lose, because they know how far they have come from their devastating 4-30 losses to a more even game. They sing, they cheer, they Hi-5 each other, where you see other teams as bad winners and still hold a grudge for not doing a better job.
To finish off, we had pizza in the park as the sun set and the kids disappeared into the darkness. We had a small presentation where my 8 year old was ‘most improved’ and catering manager here (me) ordered the right amount of pizza to go around (there were only 2 slices left when we went home).
So now onto the summer sports… still deciding what to do, but it will be nice to have a couple of weeks off!