It was a pretty decent weekend, all things considered. I had two grueling workouts, we bought two TVs, Chris came home for the weekend, the peewees had TWO big wins and we had a couple nice meals.
If it wasn’t for Pad getting crosschecked in the mouth Friday night with 90 seconds left in the game, I might have elevated the weekend to great. But that’s how it goes in Parentland.
On Friday we replaced the late, lamented family room TV with a new 49-inch LG 4K model. I honestly wasn’t in the market for 4k — new technology with four times the resolution of a 1080 screen — but the price was good, we like LG, Chris approved and the rest is history.
Having Chris around to make it all work was a godsend. It’s a “Smart” TV so it has wireless internet connectivity and lots of apps, which again, I wasn’t really in the market for but . . . there it is.
I will say this. The 4K picture incredible. The bad news is that there’s not a lot of 4k programming out there yet. There’s a fair amount on Netflix. And Chris loaded up some 4k videos from Youtube (which blew my mind). But traditional broadcast sources and sports events aren’t there yet. But when they are, 4k is a game changer. The set we cost was $849 just FYI. So far, we are happy.
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I took Chris with me to the Athlete Training Centre on Saturday afternoon for the open house and he was pretty amazed at the facility. Or, maybe he was amazed that I actually go there and do the work and people there know me. It’s hard to say.
Either way, it was a terrific event and I was proud as a member to show off the place to my son. Richard, the ATC owner and head trainer/instructor/drill sergeant, spent a fair amount of time talking with Chris. I would not be surprised to see Chris take a run at an adult membership after he comes home for the summer. Because if an old man like me can do it, how hard can it be, right?
A lot people put a lot of work into the open house and the ATC gang really put their best foot forward on Saturday. I’ve said before than anyone can rent space and fill it with barbells and medicine balls. Richard has created a culture of excellence and accountability and the people who use ATC are of exceptional character. You just don’t see that everywhere.
Once you commit to change, the momentum of the people carry you along. Just keep showing up. Do the work. Eat better . You cannot fail.
Then Chris and I crossed the street and went to Best Buy to get another TV, this time for him. Now in his 2nd year of university, Chris has been wanting a TV for his school room (he has an 18 inch now) for some time. We broke down and pulled the trigger on a sale-model 32 inch.
Happy boy. This is why we saved for school for all those years, I guess. If he wasn’t doing the work and getting decent grades it wouldn’t even have been a conversation. To his credit, he’s walking the walk.
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Rushed home from that to drop him off and then off to Sixteen Mile for the first peewee hockey game of a weekend doubleheader, where our heroes quickly fell behind 2-0 and then scored five unanswered goals in a row to take the win.
The stars of the game were three kids from “white” peewee house league who helped us out of a roster jam with six missing players. I’d keep all of them in a heartbeat if that was possible. Most shifts they were the best players on the ice.
There’s a lesson in there for parents and coaches alike. Don’t look down your nose at the kids a level down. They can hand you your ass.
More impressively, last night our gang took down the previously unbeaten league leaders in a 3-0 win, again with the three call-ups in the lineup. It was just a solid, three-period effort and our guys did a lot of the little things right. No complaints. Not one.
We went into the weekend middle of the pack. Now we are solidly middle of the pack.
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And then there was Friday night in Wolfville. It was the last game for Dal and Acadia before the Christmas/Exam break. Last time they met, Acadia won in OT. The time before that, Dal won in OT.
So even though Acadia is ranked #2 in the country and Dal is trying to play its way into playoff contention, I expected a decent game.
Laura had a girls-night-out event with friends and missed this one, which is unusual for her. But Chris and I had the game tuned in on the new TV and with a fire on and fresh popcorn; we were ready.
More ready than Dal, it seemed. The Tigers actually managed to take a 1-0 lead to the locker room after one, but the score papered over the reality of Acadia’s dominance. And in the 2nd, the Axemen pulled away en route to a 5-1 win.
It turned into a very chippy game. Fighting is a rare sight in university hockey because the suspensions for even one fight are punitive. But there were lots of scrums and facewashes and general nastiness. Hockey at this level is not for the faint of heart.
And late in the game, our hero took exception to an Acadia guy going to the net with a little too much gusto and rode him into the glass. And that guy came off the glass and crosschecked our big man across the mouth.
The result was a chipped tooth and a loosened permanent retainer and a very grumpy mother who is convinced this only happened because she missed the game.
I figure he has played close to 300 junior A and university games without a cage, just the half visor, largely without significant incident. Pad never complained and basically told us to back off, he was fine and he would handle it. He’s not big on drama and theatrics.
Injury is an occupational risk of the game. The guy who hit Pad with the stick got a match penalty and two others — one from Dal who came to his aid and an Acadia guy who joined the fracas — also got penalties.
In all, the game had 41 penalties which is more than one every 90 seconds. It was that kind of night.
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I think as a parent it is probably easy to lose slight of why you’re proud of your kids. The way they carry themselves, the way they present in public, or under stress, the way they approach school and responsibility.
This weekend, for completely different reasons, I got a reminder of some of the timber inside my two. And there are 16 other 12 year olds me and coach Dave are feeling pretty good about, too.