I may have lied… Forgive me… and allow me to explain.
First of all, let me throw it out there, that I’m not proud about the mixed emotions that I’m feeling right now. But, the struggle is kind of real.
Last year, at this exact same time (only a mere two days apart) I sat down and composed a blog post entitled “Proud Mom Moment” (read it here, if you’d like). It detailed the adorable and amazing little journey that Thatcher’s hockey team experienced on their way to a fantastic Championship title. I was crazy proud and ridiculously emotional about it. I tried to capture the magic for you all so you could enjoy the ride.
Somewhere in the post I wrote the words, “PLEASE don’t get me wrong….losses would have been fun to watch too” ….and now, I fear, I may have lied. Because…yesterday, when they were down and didn’t come back….it wasn’t actually that much fun to watch after all.
Before you hate….let me explain.
This little team are winners. Every little thing about them screams Winners. And, guess what? As they yawn, roll over, stretch, rub their eyes, and drag their tired little bottoms out of bed right about now, at this very minute, after a 2nd place season’s end, they are still winners! And that I mean, for sure!
Yesterday, when down 0-3, Finn came up to me as I was taking photos…with giant tears in his eyes….and said, “We’re losing.” Finn worships his brother and his brothers’ team + teammates. Without a second’s hesitation I leaned down and said, “Don’t worry, Finn. This team doesn’t lose. They may be down right now. But, they don’t lose.” And, I meant it. This amazing little team had gone a full calendar year without a loss before finally falling to an opponent way back in November. While they suffered a couple of early losses this season, they then rallied and regained a very impressive winning streak. A streak so awesome, actually, that yesterday was their first full-ice loss…EVER…in two whole years. USA Hockey dictates that Mite level teams skate 1/2 ice games October-December and then full-ice games for the rest of the season. This unbelievable group of kids had won every single full-ice game they have played over the course of two full seasons…until yesterday.
So, down…in a very reminiscent fashion to last year’s championship…they managed to come back a bit. 2-3 in the 3rd period, I was still certain they’d tie it up. And, I was certain, that once it was tied…they’d go on to win easily. Because that’s what, after all, they do. But, they didn’t. Man, they tried hard. And, they tried hard again and again, but they just couldn’t. And, in the end, when that buzzer sounded, I was immediately surprised by my own disappointment. And…that…is what I mean by “the struggle is kind of real.”
See, this little group of skaters has become like family. They adore each other! And, after having been together for 2 seasons (with only a couple of new additions…who we feel like have been teammates since Day #1), the team will now get split up. They’ll head to the Squirts….and be distributed to three different teams. They’ll love their new teams…and they’ll continue to love hockey….and new magic will be created for sure, but..as the saying goes…you only have one true first love. And, this team, was theirs.
So, when I say it wasn’t fun to watch, I swear I don’t mean that in some over-the-top-winning-crazed-mother way. I mean it in a I-really-wanted-one-last-victory-for-them kind of way. I promise…yet, I’m still not proud.
They, thank goodness, showed grace and dignity. They had a phenomenal season, lots of laughs, leaned on each other, lifted each other up, and showed us all what it means to be a team…in the truest sense of the word. I am so proud of them! Each and every one of them. And, they should be SO proud of themselves!
I would be remiss not to mention that Cape Ann Youth Hockey is a tremendous program full of so many amazing teams. In fact, at just the Mite level alone, all three teams…Mite 1, Mite 2, and Mite 3….finished their seasons in 1st place. While Mite 1 and Mite 2 fell an itty bitty bit short yesterday, Mite 3 went on to win their Championship. So, a HUGE congratulations to them!!!!