Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Hockey Life: Time with Mama

As any parent can tell you, one of the most rewarding parts of the job is spending quality time with your children. Be it reading a story before bedtime or a trip to the neighborhood park, it's times like these when bonds are forged between parent and child.

In our house, that quality time most often happens outside of the traditional realm. Sure, we play board games and have movie nights. every so often, we take a trip to the beach. Mostly, though, our life centers around hockey.

Thanks to a friend at the newspaper, Colin and Mama got to take in a Lightning game last week. It just wasn't any game, either. It was against the Calgary Flames, the team the Lightning beat in 2004 to win Lord Stanley's Cup.

A funny thing happened, though. During warmups, Colin bumped into a Tampa Bay Jr. Lightning teammate. Like Colin, he was there with his mother. They had a spare ticket, too, down in the 100-level seats. It didn't take long for Colin to fill that seat while Mama, much to her credit, made the trip upstairs.

For the first two periods, Colin hung out closer to the ice, watching the game, dancing to get on the Jumbotron (not sure if it happened) and letting his buddy pilfer some fries. Really, they were just being kids.

Toward the end of the second period, though, his buddy's mother noticed that Colin kept looking around, waiting for Mama to show up. She was headed downstairs just as the text message arrived. After a quick stop for ice cream, they headed back to their seats to watch the rest of the game.

"I just wanted to spend some time with her," he told me. "That's my favorite part."

As he usually does, he snuggled up against her. He likes to say that it's because it's cold up there in the 300s In a way, he's right. It does get a bit frosty up there. Still, I think it's more because he likes spending time with Mama.

Over the years, from our first dates along the glass at Snively Arena at the University of New Hampshire to Sunday morning rec league games this past season, Lisa has adopted hockey as her favorite sport. She has a pretty good handle on the rules and knows a good play when she sees one.

If you ask me, I don't think Colin could ask for a better hockey mom.

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