About twelve years ago, my twenty year old son joined his first hockey team. It was a fun team with thirteen families that truly got along the entire season. Being first year hockey parents my husband and I were able to take in all the great moments without understanding the politics behind it. It was a season we cherish fondly.
During our first local tournament my son was somewhere in the rink playing with his friends between games. My husband and I sat outside of one of the rinks drinking coffee and trying to understand the rules of the tournament when an older, disheveled man came up to our table, sat down and began talking. He could tell we were “newbies” and started asking about our team, how they were doing in the tournament and what we thought of it. He went to talk about his son who was playing hockey. He told us the more challenging side of high school hockey, not really letting us get a word in when he sat up abruptly, started to walk away and left us with this comment. “bigger kids, bigger worries.”
Twelve years later his words still linger in the back of my mind. We made it through high school hockey and my son is now a sophomore at college. He was right. I worry all the time. It is spring break this week. My son came home the other day and leaves next Sunday. He and his friends drove up north to stay in my mother-in-laws lake house for a few days. He has done this before. Yes I trust him, but I worry. My worries can over take me. I long for the days at the rink, when he needed help tying his skates, or when getting a slurpie and popcorn after a tough loss could heal a sad child.
He’s grown up. He’s a good kid, but I will always worry.