With the return of almost-normal activities the kids have had a re-entry to the rink in ways that seem almost identical to the way it used to be.
There are however significantly less teams requiring the rinks for practices and games. Many teams folded, and many parents opted out of the rather expensive sports activities with their huge time commitments. Some probably simply decided against dumping all that money into the higher-end youth sports for various economical reasons. It’s not easy, on your time or on your wallet, to nurture kids through competitive sports.
Additionally, the practices and games have moved to much later times for my teens. When they were younger, we struggled to get them to games and practices around the dinner hour, but now that they’ve turned into highschoolers, this stress has been eliminated (thankfully).
The later times is due to the kids’ ages: at 14 and 16, they get to come home from school, go to a volunteer thing or work thing or a driving lesson thing or complete homework, eat dinner, play an hour of video games or chat with friends online or whatever it is that teenagers do these days, and only then, past 8 pm-ish, they get ready to head out to a rink.
This is hard for me. 😐
I am not a late night person. At all. I’m a happy morning person. I’m typing this post at 6 am-ish on a Sunday morning… which is actually a late wake-up for me. I’m usually up at least an hour earlier…
But it’s been so good to get the kids back into their sports.
However, just because I have kids in sport doesn’t mean I don’t have time to socialize. I just didn’t want to until now.
But that’s about to change. I have tickets to a thing for an upcoming weekend and I’m looking forward to doing something different, something non-parenting or kids-sports related. Maybe I’ll blog about it in these pages, maybe not. Stay tuned.
Regular readers know I moved out of the family home and into a new place. We have found a way to make the transition work for us, and have ironed out a few details in the past weeks. Everyone seems to have adjusted to the new normal with mom living in the burbs now, and I recently heard the phrase “you’re much happier” spoken directly to me.
Thank you for noticing, I am. I’m propelling forward with my intentions while maintaining a direct line to the kids and it’s working better than I expected.
I actioned my mantra If Not Now, When? under the premise that Tomorrow Never Comes.
All this made me think about reacquainting myself with a social life. Lets just hope they/we can keep the pandemic issues under control… (ugh)
I think I’m going to open my social calendar up in the coming weeks, and into next year, and spend parts of the weekends doing something fun. Doesn’t have to be the weekends thought… it depends on schedules and obligations.
I noticed several events and shows are coming into the Greater Toronto Area, something that’s been sorely missing during the almost two years of lockdown. Is it possible to get through this winter with the current seemingly normal activity mindset? I sure hope so… to sink back into the solitude and loneliness of the lockdown periods would be a detrimental mistake on the collective mental health of most people in this province.
Meanwhile, last night I witnessed the most adorable thing at one of three rinks I was privileged to visit this weekend.
This was where I waited before it all began:
video: At the rink, Toronto, Canada
You see, my daughter’s ringette team participates in the Learn to Skate program. They invited the U14, 16 and 19s to assist the head coach, a lovely lady of University student age, in helping the little rink rats lean how to balance their bodies on sharp blades on top of slippery ice.
The group of kids range from age 3 to about 8 I think, and the coach separates them into two groups.
My daughter, one of many assistant coaches, somehow attracts the tiny tots who can barely stand, much less skate; this time, a three-and-a-half year old girl in a pink snowsuit with a pink helmet clung to my teen girl for dear life. But it didn’t take long for her to learn how to get up and stand on her skates all by herself.
Check this out:
I saw the parents, especially the dad, follow along the outside of the rink to wherever the little girl was skating/not skating. She spent a lot of time sitting on the ice talking, and my daughter spent a lot of time kneeling in front of her encouraging her to learn how to get up, and to skate. At one point, the head coach saw them and skated off to the bench to get a tiny stuffed toy to give to the little girl, which improved things and kept the tot upright a bit longer.
I approached the dad and pointed out my daughter. We started talking – he also had a 7 year old boy in the session who was skating around with the advanced group. Naturally we started talking about hockey. He played, like my son, in the Greater Toronto Hockey League, the competitive side of youth hockey in my region. I mentioned as well that my own daughter, who is now in the competitive side of ringette, was just like is girl on the ice: talking, pointing, not skating, more talking. We laughed at how different girls are from boys, but he did remark that the previous coach his daughter had last week wasn’t able to convince the 3 year old to get up at all, whereas my daughter had her up more often than down. Progress!
My daughter always has a huge smile on her face after this session. She enjoys the little kids, especially after she hands the girl off to the parents and skates back to the older kids, the 5 to 8 year olds, who play something called freeze-tag. All the kids skate to catch the coaches and tag them into a freeze position, and the giggles and laughter you hear across the hollow arena makes is all the more worthwhile to sit there on the ice cold stone bench and watch them. 🥰
I’ve spent Saturday nights in worse places in past years than in cold arenas; this was a good night and ended with a bonding session over a slice of pizza. (Because of course it did.) 🍕
The Learn to Skate program is coming to an end in December. This was a part-time job for my daughter, which gives her both income and experience. Given how comfortable and at home she is on the ice, it was the prefect way to introduce her into the ‘working world’.
All I can say is, I’m happy to be a part of this experience for her.
So there you have it, a glimpse into the Canadian youth weekend schedule. 🇨🇦
Both of these videos are also loaded to my youtube channel Writer of Words etc (not the tarot one). Note, there are a few Tucker videos loaded here as well.