There’s always something to be learned from every situation and I’m a life-long learner, which means I usually screw up constantly.
Here are the top 10 things I learned from the hockey tournament…
- There is a sliding scale of when good behavior becomes bad. Mathematicians will like this and one day properly quantify it, but for now, let’s take a look. Joe-style. One kid will behave about 90% of the time. 2 kids, probably 60%. 3 kids, perhaps 40%, but it’ll depend on the kids. 4 kids…you’re now against the odds. Maybe 10% chance they’ll behave. 5 kids? The odds are akin to me winning the lottery. 6 kids. The odds are equal to the me winning the lottery and being hit by lightning at the same time. Any more and the odds are so astronomical that Karl Sagan, Einstein and Sheldon Cooper would fail to calculate them, the chance is so small. There is a greater chance that somewhere in the universe there is a monkey typing out this exact blog at this exact moment. Plus, the damage that can be done is exponentially worse.
- When in a group, all table manners go out the window. Again, this can be a sliding scale, just not as bad as the chance one of them will do something dumb. Have you ever seen a pack of starving wild dogs savage a wildebeest? It’s that disturbing. I point, as evidence to the pizza box with four bites out of it.
- There are gods of hockey. Like a long-lost Norse god out to prove he can still influence the world of men. Sometimes the puck bounces your way and sometimes it doesn’t, but in some games, sometimes it’s everything or nothing. I kid you not. It’s like 4 pings off the goal posts, 2 off the crossbar, one puck hits the tip of the goalie’s skate and deflects wide, another shot has so little strength that it actually stops in the crease after being completely mis-saved. Or, your team mate will shoot it through the goalie’s skates, the puck will hit the crossbar and bounce off his back and into the net… you get the idea. And yes, The-Youngest had both those games.
- Your child will lie to you. Oh, you think he’s going to be the most truthful boy on the planet, but tell him not to run on the ferry, and he’ll come back all red-faced from running and actually try to claim he wasn’t running. With sweat dripping down his face. While panting.
- Great friendships can be made from great suffering. Or great triumph. Mostly our team is usually all about the suffering, but they bonded so well at this tournament that I’m sure some of them will be friends for life. (And it’s not just about the hockey bonding, oh no, it’s about trying to drown your coach or shooting a mini-hockey ball at someone’s crotch or trying to sneak into the boiler room on a ferry.) Me? I had some great moments with some of the parents and bonded with a few well. I mean, who could not? We all shared the same experiences, good and bad.
- I could almost do a whole weekend of being marginally extrovertie. Oh, you extroverts may not realize how hard it is for an introvert to be all chatty, and be all chatty for 3 whole days, while not getting much sleep and not being able to drink a lot. But I did it. And, to be truthful, so did the-Youngest. It can be done, but mostly because I was lucky enough to go with a great group pf parents, some of whom I suspect were introverts as well.
- If you have a 5:45 ferry and a game is supposed to start at 3:15, it will not. I suspect the same naughty Norse gods, but whatever, it should be like some sort of universal rule. If you don’t have a lot of time for buggering around, the universe will send people to bugger things around.
- You can fit a goalie bag, two player bags, 5 suitcases, 2 backpacks, 3 9 year olds and 2 adults in a Rav 4. Certainly you would have bet against it, but with the proper application of pressure and swearing, you can get everything in. Plus 3 sticks. And 3 bags of tournament goodies. I should contact Toyota and get them to do a commercial like that. With me and my Hollywood good looks.
- You get out of the tournament, whatever you expect. By that I mean if you think you’re going to have a crappy time, there is a ton of stuff that will prove you right. Bad refs. Bad coffee. No heat in the arena. Or you can think this is going to be one hell of an experience and there is tons of stuff to prove you right. Bad refs. Bad coffee. No heat in the arena. It’s like a quick reminder of what life’s about. There’s always good and bad, but it’s what you focus on. Or to quote The-prettiest-girl-in-the-world, “it’s whatever wolf you feed.”
- Every game needs more cowbell.