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Hurry Up and Wait


     No one warned me about the fine print. When I signed our marriage certificate thirty some odd years ago, I didn’t notice the Hockey Clause, as my grinning groom lovingly called it; the one indicating ‘absences for hockey purposes will be commonplace as soon as the ice is in.’             

     I soon found out the hard way that, although my hubby loved me, he also loved hockey. But, I decided early that jealousy would do me no good. Ranting and unsportsmanlike behaviour would be futile. Best to settle in and buy new mittens and a blanket.             

     So I did. I will admit that I could have made more of an effort but I really did try to attend some games and tournaments. I couldn’t help that prior engagements like shopping or library visits or a good book beckoned more than a cold arena.             

     For the life of me I couldn’t understand the rules of the game other than some big thugs who were decked out in bulky uncomfortable equipment, and balancing on blades were required  to whack a piece of hard, round rubber into a net and take out anyone in their way.  Icing, to me, was always the best part of the cake. Creases begged for the iron. Boarding was when you rented a room.             

     The dear man I married would raise his eyebrows. His patience never wore thin; although I am sure he wondered how many times he would have to explain what icing meant. And then there was off-side, neutral zones, face-offs, defense. Would it ever sink in? The most important part to me was cheering for the right team when the puck sliced through the air and into the net. Goals I could fathom. Rules didn’t make much sense at first but over the years I started to grasp some and eventually came to understand a little of the thrill of the game and the exhilaration so familiar to my hubby.             

     When our daughter came along it wasn’t long before we discovered how much she loved going to Daddy’s games. So I started taking her to the tournaments. I even cheered loudly, especially when my happy hubby was on the ice. For a few years another hockey wife and I looked after refreshments and hot lunches at the local tournament and made sure all the hockey aficionados were fed and watered and ready to play again. I was getting used to this new way of life.             

     Then our son was born and the bug bit even harder. Daddy taught him the importance of loving his momma and sister first and hockey a close second! There was nothing sweeter than watching little tykes and tearaways skimming and falling and trying and tripping. My son started to love the game and I loved watching him love it.             I must admit that I never really did grasp all the ins and outs of the rules but still remained a cheering fan at both my son’s and my husband’s games. Eventually, due to health reasons and stiffening joints, my hubby had to stop playing. My son still plays recreational hockey with his firemen buddies, although I don’t get to see his games any more. That’s what happens when the children grow up and move away.             

     But last week it happened all over again. “Grandma. Can you please come watch my hockey game in the tournament on Saturday?” my daughter’s darling little lad asked. She had married a goalie who lived and breathed hockey. Naturally, the hockey gene was passed on with Grandpa’s blessing.             

     The first game of the tournament was at 8am. I crawled out of my warm bed and got ready for the cold arena – just like the good old days. Complete with warm mittens and blanket, I headed out. That old familiar feeling came back and I settled into my seat. It was pure bliss as I watched my grandson’s team skate and stumble and rise and fall. The passion in my grandson’s eyes stirred my heart and I found myself grinning like a Cheshire cat as he focussed and chased that crazy little rubber puck around. Every so often a little gloved hand would come up – a wave to Grandma. He scored three goals and I was beside myself. Just a little lad, but such a familiar appetite for the sport. Grandpa stood nearby. Quiet. I watched him watching our grandson flitting and falling and getting up and pursuing his passion. I knew my grinning groom’s heart ached a little. How he must miss being on the ice. But I could also see the joy in his eyes as he watched our little tyke do his best.  

     I sidled up to the man I married. “He’s doing pretty good, huh?” I said. “Yep.”  He was thoughtful. I reached for his gloved hand. We watched our little grandson for a little while longer. 

      “What’s icing?” I asked. I recognized that smile and the raised eyebrows. “It’s the stuff they put on top of a cake,” he winked and squeezed my hand. *****************

10 Comments to ICING:

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Your Darling Daughter on January-03-13 1:51 PM
haha!!! LOVE the last line! :D That's awesome!!! And love the story too (Was this your CSFTS submission? Silly them! They missed out on a good one!!!) :D
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Anonymous on January-03-13 7:19 PM
Yes, Amanda. It was the Chicken Soup for the Hockey Soul story (CSFTHS)! Thanks for the encouragement (and Mr. T for the inspiration...)xx

SANDY on January-03-13 1:53 PM
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Anonymous on January-03-13 7:20 PM
Thanks, Sandy. You being a hockey momma would appreciate this!

Anonymous on January-03-13 7:22 PM
Miss Franny...you are still a beautiful encourager! Thank you. I just wish I had more time in a day. I would love to write all day and every day...one day...God will open that door when it is time. xx

Fran on January-03-13 2:37 PM
As always, you weave the fabric of life with love! Write more....print more...publish more...the world needs to hear your heart!
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Anonymous on January-04-13 11:52 PM
Thanks, my Florida honey. Your encouragement stirs me. How blessed I am to have had you as my heart friend for 34 (count 'em) years! love you...xxx

HOLY ROLLER on January-03-13 10:37 PM
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Anonymous on January-04-13 11:53 PM
Young lady? Well you sure know how to sweet talk an old gal, dontcha'? That you take the time to comment, speaks volumes. Thanks! :)

Caroline Sealey aka Overalled Story Teller on March-17-14 8:06 AM
Love the hockey story. Have you figured out what icing is yet? X0
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