Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Hockey Life: Another growth $purt

Over the past few years, a source of concern within the household has been the apparent lack of a growth spurt by the youngest member of the family. Given the disparity in height between his parents, there has been hope that he'd trend more toward the high side.

Thankfully, over the past year, a growth spurt set in, with Colin adding 4 inches in height. He now stands taller than one of us, a point he makes with great delight. It's good, too, as in playing at the bantam level this year, the competition is bigger, too.

Last Sunday, we experienced another growth spurt. Rather than height, though, this one affected his skate size. For the past 10-plus months, Colin's wheels, so to speak, were a size 3.5. Lately, though, his toes were feeling a little cramped. I was a bit surprised, too, when he measured in at a size 6.

Once he turned 13, I told Colin that Christmases and birthdays would likely bring a big-ticket hockey purchase rather than toys or video games. I was hoping we could hold off for another couple of months before buying him new skates, getting a full year out of his most recent pair. Well, that didn't happen.

All told, we spent about an hour looking at skates before settling on a pair. Of course, he wanted a pair, more advanced than his level of play, that tickled $300, before tax. I spied a pair, more fitting to my wallet than his skill level, for $150. In the end, we chose a pair of CCM Tacks, at a little less than $250, tax included. He'll play in them today.

A wise hockey dad, one who has been at it a lot longer than me, told me to never skimp on two things: helmets and skates. Those items, he said, are the most important pieces of equipment. You have to protect the melon and skates form a solid foundation. It was, and remains, great advice.

Merry Christmas, buddy boy, Santa came early this year.

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