I don’t know what it was, that brought the thoughts to mind. The wife and I were just sitting around talking, and I was suddenly reminded of my three boys when they were so young. It started I’m sure when I had a little chuckle to myself out loud; the thought had come into my head and all of a sudden I burst out laughing. Of course Elizabeth asked what I was laughing at and I told her this true story.
It goes back to the time when my boys were quite young and of course, like all kids at that age they had just started into hockey. My boys were about a year and a half difference in ages; so that meant that they were involved in hockey in three different leagues. On top of that they also played at three different arenas.
Oh boy the traveling in those days. Sometimes they would all play on a Saturday, but at times two would play Saturday and one on a Sunday morning.
This particular Sunday morning my youngest was playing. To make matters worse, on Saturday night I had been to a party and wasn’t really in much of a state let alone a frame of mind for hockey.
So it was that at 5am Sunday morning I found myself being tugged out of bed by my young offspring, hockey bag at the ready! Dad! Dad! Come on get up!! We’ll be late for my game! He yelled in my ear, well I can tell you, I bit hard on my tongue! In that moment I was wishing he had taken up ‘Checkers" instead of hockey!
My groans fell on deaf ears as I got dressed and went downstairs mumbling something inaudible, looking out the window I groaned. It was snowing and blowing a real storm out there, but I knew we had to go, more groans.
Thank goodness I drove a big car in those days, for I knew we would need it to get through the snow and drifts. First I had to clear the driveway a bit, but after a while already frozen with the wind, we were loaded up and on our way. It was about 5 miles to the arena, and all being well I thought, we should make it in time.
After much cursing under my breath with the driving, for a couple of times we went into a wobble but straightened up avoiding the ditch. Finally we arrived at the arena and I delivered my son to his coach, phew! Now I could get a very much needed, cup of hot coffee!
At that age the kids being so small, they had to play their games on half - ice. This made it interesting, for under the league rules the coach or his manager had to be on the ice with the kids.
While I was waiting for my son’s game to start I found a seat and watched the game in progress, for there was still about 15 minutes to go in that game. Also, I was curious why there seemed to be so much noise and enthusiasm with the crowd at that particular game.
That’s when I saw him! The crowd were chanting ‘Snoopy!’.
Both the teams playing were made up of first year kids and many were very small kids, one in particular.
The minute I saw this kid I just cracked right up, in a nice way of course. This boy was so small, you couldn’t see his skates for his jersey came right down to the ice!
His stick had been cut down in size so that he could handle it. On top of that, he didn’t skate for he just walked across the ice and with great difficulty at that! So what happened when they had a face-off, the puck was dropped and then the coach would push the little kid up the ice and park him in front of the goal crease of the opposing team.
His instructions I found out later were ‘ Stay here and when the puck comes along, you hit it with your stick into the net!’ Pretty simple eh? Haha No!
The kid stood in front of that net for what seemed like forever I’m sure. Finally the puck did arrive right to the little kids stick!! Well, I tell you he got so excited, first he wobbled, then he fell over missing the puck altogether. That was when I saw he was actually wearing skates as his jersey flew up to his pants. The goalkeeper though got just as flustered and fell down as well, putting the puck into his own goal!
Well ‘Snoopy’, for that is what the crowd had christened him, went wild. Jumping up on his skates, he ran down the ice (not skated) yelling I scored, I scored! That was when he tripped over his jersey, and fell face down! Ha ha ha.
I don’t think he even knew he had fallen again, for he was so happy!
I swear I never saw anything so funny in my life, so you can see why ‘Snoopy’ was such a real crowd favorite.
Forgotten was that fact I had had to get out of bed so early and brave the weather, for I wouldn’t have missed that game for the world!