Sunday, October 24, 2010


My daughter is a pretty good hockey player.

She enjoys the game and she's better than most of the other girls in her division. In fact, she's in the middle of three try-out practices from which the league will choose players for the "Select" team. If she makes it it will mean more practices, more training but better coaching and more ice time. It will take her to the next level of the sport.

But she's eight. She tells me that she likes playing hockey and she wants to play on the Select team but she's worried that it will be hard. She says that she's not sure if she wants to do it if it's hard.

So what do we do? Do we push her because we know she has the talent to make it and it would be good for her? Or do we let her take the easy route and stay back in the house league because she's just a kid and kids should be having fun?

If I push her, have I become the dreaded "Hockey Mom"?

As I thought about this over the weekend I compared it to my writing - surprise, surprise. If I'd given up on writing because it was hard I would have about two paragraphs of a first chapter and half a title to my credit. For me, writing is pretty much always hard. For the most part I enjoy the work, but it's always hard. And yet that's what makes it so fulfilling. Every time I work through the hard part and end up with something that's better I feel proud.

I want my daughter to learn the same thing. It's a cliche, but it's true that anything worth having is worth working for. And whether it's writing or hockey or anything else in life, the people who are able to keeping pushing through the hard parts are the people who tend to rise to the top and achieve their dreams.

So, we've decided to push her. She may whine from time to time and complain that she's tired and ask why do we have to go to another practice. But I see her face when she comes off the ice and she's glowing and I can only hope that, in addition to new stick handling skills, she's learning a really important lesson about life.

Anyone know where I can get my "Hockey Mom" bumper sticker?

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