#SOL19 Day 2 Isn’t That What We Want?

The momentum had shifted.

Midway through the second period the Wings were up 2-0 over the toughest competition in the tournament. The boys settled into their game after reacting for much of the first period.

Down in the offensive end, they were keeping the pressure on New York’s defense. The puck poked between ten pairs of skates. Sticks tipped it under and through until it popped out to the point.

He was open. Stick raised behind him, he swung through the puck.

It flew, just below shoulder height, through defenders and teammates alike and found the back of the net.

For a moment, time stopped.

Then he was surrounded by teammates. The four of them nearly lifted him off his feet in their celebration.

A minute later the buzzer sounded and both teams returned to their benches. Once again he was surrounded, this time by the whole team. Arms reached over the group to pat his helmet. Bump his shoulder. Bring him in.

All goals feel good. Tournament goals are especially exciting. But this one was intoxicating. Q’s season ended last week.

When his 14U team was knocked out of their state tournament in the playoff rounds, another coach invited him to play…for his brother’s 18U team.

This was Q’s first weekend of games with boys who shave and drive. They could have ignored him as a newcomer, a middle schooler, a kid. Instead they brought him in.

Yesterday after the first game Q shared his favorite part of the night. “I was saying to Drew, ‘I really appreciate playing on your team.’ But Mom, Donny came over and bumped my shoulder. He said, ‘Nah, it’s our team.'” Both Donny and Drew have already graduated high school.

Isn’t this what we want for them?

It isn’t the extra ice time. It isn’t even seeing him playing alongside his brother for the first time (although that was something special, too). It’s watching our children stretching themselves to try something that challenges them. Seeing them work through struggles. Glimpsing their success. And most of all, witnessing the joy that comes from acceptance.

 

 

 

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Slice of Life Challenge Day 1- Getting a Late Night Pantser Start

This is my third year in the challenge. Although the frequency of my posting has declined of late, I begin this year’s challenge already feeling like a writer. As Harry Potter said, “I knew I could do it this time because I’d already done it.”

This year I don’t worry that I’m not a writer, or that I won’t be able to think of things to write about. I generated a list of 8 different slices inspired by moments today alone. My brain was too tired this afternoon to craft any of them into something beyond a bullet point and a moment of visualization, but they were there.

This year I begin the challenge with confidence, but also an awareness that a choice to slice may be a choice not to continue blazing through books. I’ve read about 10 middle grade novels in the past 3 weeks, plus a handful of picture books. In addition to planning to slice this month, I’ve set myself an ambitious reading calendar. There are about 15 more ARCs I’m trying to read this month before they’re released. Each of those deserves at least a brief review.

I think what I’ve worked out as I wrote this, is that I’m looking forward to slicing and being part of a community of writers. I’m not willing to do it instead of reading and being part of a community of readers…so this month will become about balance.

Balance.

I know I can do it because I already have. You all keep me coming back.

Now, tomorrow’s an early morning and I still have 160 pages in the book I started today. Time to read.

Good night, fellow Slicers.