The Supers

The Supers
Our growing superfamily

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Get Yer Skates Out!

I married a hockey nut. I married a guy that played Junior A and a bit of semi-pro and coached and watched hockey and basically lived and breathed hockey when we met. Shortly after we started living together we moved to Port Alberni where he was coaching the Junior B team. I remember getting phone calls in the middle of the night from players or disgruntled parents, and I remember the seeds being planted. The “I Hate Hockey” seeds. Maybe it was even earlier; I still have recollections of my Mom, brother and I decorating the Christmas tree while Dad watched the game. I guess it doesn’t really matter when it started, but those seeds began to sprout. I started to revolt against hockey. I stopped going to watch the games he coached. I didn’t even really want to hear about them, but I listened patiently. I never liked watching it on TV in the first place, but I stopped letting it be ON the TV. When we got a second TV David and I wouldn’t see each other all season long. I was thankful when David stopped coaching. I was blissful when I cancelled cable and didn’t have to deal with the games anymore.

Which is why it is so surprising that now I am anxiously anticipating the start of hockey season so that I can watch some games. And even MORE surprising is the reason I want to watch some games is that I want to learn the rules. Because I have started playing hockey. On the ice. With skates on. So what happened in between last season’s cable-free stance and this season’s sudden fervour? I’m not really sure. I have a friend that plays and it sounded like a good idea at the time. Why do I do any of the things I do, really?! Because I don’t sit down and really think about them. I just do them.

So, after having never owned a pair of hockey skates, or even any skates that I can remember (I probably had figure skates as a kid, but I don’t remember them at all), I bought my first pair. I paid $50 at Sports Traders and also went on a spree at Sportmart and bought all of my gear. I was able to borrow some of David’s stinky old gear (romantic, I know). He wanted me to use his old jock but there I drew the line. If I’m going to play with ladies, I’m going to be wearing a Jill.

Monday night was player evaluations. I still hadn’t thought things through at this point. I was just rolling with it, trying not to think about too much so I wouldn’t get nervous. Didn’t think about it right up to the point where I was about to step out on the slippery, freshly-zambonied ice. And then I thought, “Whoa.” And then I thought some more. It sounded like this: “What am I doing?! I don’t know how to skate!” But I chewed those thoughts back down and got out there. We started doing easy laps around the rink. I was in awe of the women skating around me and remember thinking that they skate “like men”. I was rickety and tippy and didn’t know how to stop, but I skated around and around.

Then we had to line up for drills. This was the point when I realized that I was going to have to learn how to stop, since the first drill was to skate as fast as you could for the side and then stop with your skates, not just by slamming into the boards which is how I’d usually get that job done. Luckily the coach running the practice knew I was new on skates and gave me some instruction. I swallowed my fear and I did it. I did every drill that night. I did not do them well, but I did them. I worked my butt off, and by the end of the practice I was able to stop, able to skate backwards, and able to stay on my feet most of the time. The best part was that I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. I have never worked so hard and I have never been up against such a steep learning curve. I had sweat dripping off of the end of my nose.

I will no longer be a hockey widow. My husband and I will continue to know each other through the winter months. And I think he’s kind of getting a kick out of me gaining an appreciation for a sport that helped shape his life. Turns out I actually love hockey. Whoops! Sorry about those last ten years and the whole "hating hockey" thing. Better late than never!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Raising Boys

Well, I bought the book that had the testosterone theory but was thoroughly under-impressed. I did not like the author’s writing style, and found the book content underwhelming at best. The main gist of the book was a. Fathers are important, b. Boys are different to raise than girls, and c. A bunch of stuff about adolescence that I didn’t bother reading as I’m not at that stage yet. So anyhow, I already knew those first two things, but didn’t get any advice or info on HOW to raise my son differently than my daughters. The only thing reading the book really did for me was it got me thinking about the positives of having a little boy. Here’s what I came up with.

His imagination is so very different than mine. I can stretch my brain into new shapes playing superheroes and flying around the living room, or super spies sneaking around the house. I can watch him manipulate his toys into doing all sorts of boyish things and having all sorts of boyish conversations. He is my window into the world of all things men.

He appreciates a good fart joke, and I’ve discovered that I’ve got plenty to share.

He loves to be physically active. We can ride bikes in circles for hours, or play tag or hide n go seek. He has boundless amounts of energy that although at times can be exhausting, can also be exhilarating.

He is careful with his affection and only brings it out from time to time. I feel special when he chooses to hug and kiss me. I feel like magic when I can make him giggle with abandon.

He makes me brave. I have to touch bugs and worms and snakes when I'm with him so that I can help make him brave too.

He is a careful guardian of his two sisters. He can drive Skyler wild with fury, but he is also loving and kind with her, and if she falls down or gets hurt he comes and gets me right away with wide-eyed concern. He always lets me know if he hears Talia crying in her crib. When he gets himself a drink of water at dinner he always gets Skyler a cup as well. At times I marvel at his caring. He wears his heart on his sleeve. Even if at times Skyler’s cup has three drops of water in it and his is overflowing.

Boys are amazing little people. They are completely exhausting but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

See, I’ve completely let that whole “flushing the stuffie down the toilet” incident go. Well, for the most part.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

T is for Testosterone

Random Marcus (aka Random Dave Jr) has been at it again. I won’t get into the gory details, but let’s just say that the last straw was when he tried to flush a sizable stuffed animal down the toilet. He seems completely not in control of his behaviour. We had some people over for dinner the other night and he couldn’t contain himself—he was positively vibrating. I keep taking him outside to ride his bike up and down the street, but sooner or later we have to come inside. Somebody has got to fold the laundry and make dinner!

I was totally at my wits’ end and was complaining about his behaviour to a friend of mine, also with a four-year-old boy, who mentioned that she had heard that at this age the testosterone level in boys doubles. This causes some major erratic and aggressive behaviour. Now, Marcus has not been aggressive, but erratic? Oh yes! And then some! I was interested in the theory but haven’t been able to find much online about it. I ordered a book from the library that was referenced, so we’ll see when it comes.

In the meantime, it’s amazing how a plausible explanation makes the random behaviours so much easier to deal with. Now that I can imagine that there is some biological imperative that makes Marcus dissect my hand soap into hundreds of tiny little nubs, it makes the behaviour that much easier to fathom. I’m still pissed off that I have to squidge the soap back together into one knobbly ball, but at least I know that he’s not doing it on purpose. Also, it helps me explain to HIM why he’s getting into so much trouble these days, and how we can work on it together. Now when his head is spinning and he can’t control his facial expressions I can pin him down and look him in the face and say, “See? You’re acting crazy because of the HORMONES!!!”

Four-year-olds. Who’d have thunk it?