Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hockey Hips Don't Lie

Speaking of skating...

My kids are going to hockey camp this week. I had no idea that their coach was a former NHL player. I'm not sure how I missed that. But he is the type of gung ho, tough-but-fair coach I remember so fondly from my own sports camp days.

My son, poor guy, is as usual the worst one on the ice. I keep trying to remind him that he has come so very far and improves every single time he gets on the ice. He has a great attitude, but he just doesn't the have the natural talent of most of these kids.

But as his coach told him yesterday, "Hey, you could be at home playing video games. But you're here working hard and that makes you a winner in my book."

Today he was doing a drill where he was supposed to jump over his stick with his feet together. Um, it didn't go so well. You might be able to slide a piece of paper between his skate blades and the ice, but not a hockey stick.

So the coach was standing in front of him and trying to talk him through it. And he just kept jumping up an inch off the ice and straight back down. And finally the coach just had to laugh. It was quite funny to watch. My kid is all effort from the top of his head to the toes of his skates. But he looked like he was on a pogo stick that had lost its spring.

The girl, on the other hand, is one of the best out there. She's so funny. That child doesn't have a graceful bone on her body, but she does well in sports just by sheer desperation of will. Now that she's switched from soccer, where she was nowhere near fast enough to keep up, to hockey, where proper skating technique will take her far, she's building huge amounts of confidence.

Today at the end of practice they played a game where they tried to hip check each other out of the circle or onto the ice. My daughter won three out of four rounds. Much to the chagrin of a dozen boys.

What can I say? Her hips are bigger.

Skate On, Faster

I thought it would be nice, but now I have to admit it... the way, always be careful what you wish for...

...but the lead-up to this upcoming deployment has been waaaaaay tooooooo long.

I've spent the last, what, three months mentally preparing myself for my husband's deployment. And I'm tired. I'm beat! I have actually gotten to a point where I'm thinking, Just go already, would you!

I know I'm not the only one feeling that way.

We have so much going on these next couple of weeks, and all of it stressful, that my husband and I both just want August to be over.

He gets promoted on August 27 (our anniversary) and to celebrate, we have lots of family coming to stay. My parents, my nephews, his mother, his father.

Wait. What? What was that? His mother and his father, who have been divorced for 35 years and haven't said more than a word or two to each other in 35 years are both going to be staying at our house and attending the same ceremony, reception and party???


Truthfully, I'm glad for my husband that for once in his damned life his father is going to man up and do the freaking right thing. (I mean, seriously. His son is getting a big promotion in one of the most noble professions possible. You'd think the man would be a little proud.)

But it ain't going to be fun.

Even if everything goes as smooth as can be, the stress of preparing for all this family is wearing on us.

And my house looks and smells like crap.

I know my husband has been beyond stressed because the other day he said, "Hon, I love you to death, but I can't wait to leave."

How bad does your work stress have to be to consider a trip to a war-torn desert as a relief?

And I don't know how I let it happen, but our fall schedule is packed beyond belief. Violin lessons, violin rehearsals, orchestra rehearsals, swim conditioning training (I've got to trim my babies up!), theater program, and hockey.

And both of the kids are doing all of those things!

And, of course, my daughter has excelled at hockey and she may be playing on a "select" traveling team. It's not that I don't want her to do well, but sheesh. How much more can I do? We can't be at two places at once.

Things are going to have to cut back in the winter. It hasn't even started yet and I already know I can't keep up this pace. Not alone.

So for me, August has felt like the big countdown to "The Leaving" and I'm not sure how much more stress I can handle.

But I know a few hours of sleep would help.

Yes, I think I'll start there. I can sleep for an hour before I have to take the kids to hockey. Again. Wrestling two kids into a hundred pounds of extremely smelly hockey gear is always a nice way to start the day.

Skate on, August. Skate on!