Big boys, I mean.
Like, boys in their 40's. Don't you think they should be able to play hockey if they want to? I sure do.
Henry was the only kid to go to Big Daddy's this past weekend. Out of four kids, one went. But that's beside the point.
Henry got home from Big Daddy's a bit earlier than the normal drop off time. I gave him a big hug, announced, "Yay! My funny H is home!" and then asked him, "Why are you back so early? Not that I mind, of course." I didn't mind, because I missed that kid. He truly is the comedian in this house.
He looked at me and said, "Dad had hockey."
Oh...Dad had hockey, huh? You mean, the same Dad who can't help pay for his own son's hockey this year? The same Dad who said, "I can't afford it" when I asked him to cough up some of the cha-ching when William asked about getting signed up for hockey this year? That Dad?
I will admit, I know nothing about adult hockey leagues in Minneapolis. I don't know how much they cost. Maybe he found one that is specifically for poor men, a free league so men who face financial challenges can still get some ice time for that sad little boy trapped inside them. A place for fellas who are struggling, a cold place where they can take out some of their aggressions and get some good old fashioned exercise.
But I'm thinking it's not free. I'm thinking it's probably not cheap. I'm thinking that in order to play Grown Up Hockey, Big Daddy probably didn't have to call the head of the league and explain his sad financial situation to him, and beg for a chance to play. I'm also thinking that in order to play, he didn't have to swear up and down and on a stack of Bibles that he'd volunteer in the concession stand every single weekend. I'm also thinking that he didn't work out a scholarship deal, along with a payment plan, in order to get a spot on this Grown Up Hockey team.
Because that's exactly what I did, and what I'm doing, and what I'm going to do in order to get my son William out there playing hockey again this year. Because my son wants to play hockey.
I'm not one to toot my own horn, like, ever. I don't like talking about what I do for my kids, and I really don't like talking about the "sacrifices" I make for my kids. Partly because I'm modest, but mostly because I don't consider giving things up for the well-being of my kids as "sacrifices". It's called being a parent. Doing what needs to be done in order for the kids to have some kind of normal in their lives. Every day there are parents all over this big blue earth, doing it. Some gave up dreams and work at a job they only sort-of like. Some go to school at night and on weekends so they can become more. Some work two or three jobs so their kids can have a nice warm place to live and food on the table.
And some play hockey.
The irony of a 44 year old man playing on a hockey team while his 12 year old is relying on scholarships and a hot-dog slinging mom to do the same thing? It's not lost on me. It also wasn't lost on William. When Henry told us the reason for his early arrival, William was sitting in the living room, doing homework. He looked at me, and then looked down. He said nothing.
He didn't have to.