Back in February we decided to do the silliest thing, sign our 4-year-old child up for HOCKEY. I find it silly mostly because I never grew up with hockey and my little boy is fragile to me! The program we signed him up for was a free month-long program where the kids go out on the ice, with all the gear (also free) and literally figure it out on their own with some help from the coaches (who were fabulous). I was TERRIFIED!! Miles kept falling, looking at us through his cage mask and I felt helpless. Little did I know, it wasn’t a look of him wanting to give up, but more of him powering through.
In the past, my son has been known to give up when it comes to sports. He was called the “strategist” on his soccer team, because he could always figure out how to get out of practice and games! Something about hockey was different, even though he would fall and was still using buckets, the kids did not want to give up—but were still afraid to let go of the buckets. It was his safety blanket and he felt he wasn’t good enough to let go.
By the 4th day of the program–the last day!–I felt like this was a fun activity, but was not sure if we would continue. My son had a different agenda, he let go of those buckets…took a hockey stick…and AWAY he went! He was able to skate all by himself while holding the stick and even hit the puck. I was in tears because I was so proud of him and he was proud of himself. It is so hard at this age to get the self-esteem and the courage to let go of your fears and go! It was a lesson I needed to be reminded of too!
So now… he is signed up for hockey! He still has his challenges, but he does not giving up, cry to come off the ice or make up excuses. He may not be the best one out there, but maybe one day he will be (although I’m rooting for a safer sport or theater). All in all, I am one proud mama!
What I learned from challenging myself:
I’m writing this for a few reasons. This was such a new experience for our family and we loved it. One of my favorite parts is it created a new bond between my son and husband. Believe it or not, we signed up without any friends or anyone we knew, which I feel helped my son not feel defeated seeing his friend succeed before he did (i.e. scoring a goal). Lastly, it was great to see my son challenge himself in a different way when it comes to sports. My challenge for you is for YOU to try something new with your child! It was totally worth the silly idea, PROMISE!
This one is for you Miles, our little MiTBrack!