And so I give you today's gratefuls which include one that I was often questioned on while raising the kids (and still get questioned on occasionally). When asked what we were doing at Thanksiving, on Mother's Day, on Fourth of July... my response for about ten years in a row was "hockey tournament". When asked how much I was paying for my kids to play hockey... my response was "about 1/3 of my paycheck". When asked if I'm not tired of going straight from work to hockey practice every single night (two kids on an average of three different teams) and spending every weekend at games... my response was "it's together time and we all enjoy it or we wouldn't do it".
The question or statement that followed generally went something like this:
- Your kids are lucky you sacrifice so much for them.
- Don't you ever regret sacrificing your time or money just so the kids can play hockey?
- Parents sacrifice a lot for their kids; I hope they appreciate it.
I think any struggles we faced during those years taught us some valuable life lessons. We learned that where there's a will there's a way. We learned that even if circumstances aren't pleasant we could find SOMETHING to be happy about and that's what we focused on. We learned that being part of a social family is one of the best things there is.
My kids do not take what they have for granted. They appreciate everything they have and seem to enjoy life. I think hockey (and struggling to make hockey happen, year after year) had a lot to do with that.
As I write this, one child is a goalie at UCLA and the other is a goalie at BROWN. Sacrifice? I think not. We loved what we did and we're still enjoying the fruits of those labors.
- I'm grateful for all the fun I had raising my kids.
- I'm grateful for being a part of the youth hockey world where I met and still am friends with some of the most awesome, helpful, compassionate, generous people.
- I'm grateful that youth sports exist as a great way for children to learn about teamwork, discipline, friendship, socializing, competitiveness and a whole lot of other things that are just plain old good for them.