Just Like in Hockey

The neighborhood boys were at our house yesterday.  It was great.  At one point I looked out at five boys in the driveway each with a basketball shooting hoops.  It looked like basketball practice in our driveway.  Then they were running around the yard with Nerf guns hiding from each other.  Finally, the guns were traded for hockey sticks and a game of street hockey commenced in the driveway.  It made me smile thinking how lucky we are to be in a neighborhood of active kids about the same age.

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With dinner time approaching I opened the door to say that it was time to clean up only to witness my youngest son in a hockey rumble with our neighbor’s oldest son.  “What is going on?” I shout.    “We are fighting like they do in hockey,” my son calls back.  (as if it is perfectly normal).  “What? NO! We do NOT fight.” I firmly reply.  Then I notice that our neighbor’s son is holding his lip.  Oh shit!  Did this really happen?  Am I that Mom of that kid; not exactly the vision I had dreamed for my family.  I quickly check our neighbor out.  He seems okay.  He says he’s okay.  My son apologizes and then I send everyone home.

I sit both of my boys at the kitchen counter to try and draw out exactly what happened.  From what I can tell, I caught it as it started and my son was “trying to be like a real hockey player”.

I call over to my neighbor but she doesn’t pick up.  Oh, Lordy, this could be worse than I thought!  At that moment, my husband comes home and quickly gets an earful.  Poor guy, and he thought it would be a good idea to come home early!  We decide that he will walk our son over to address the issue and apologize again.  (a childhood walk of shame)  All the while, my neighbor was on the phone with her mother in law.  She had seen that her kids were home but didn’t think anything was out of the usual.  Then she notices my husband marching our son up her driveway, my missed call and her son’s fat lip.  Life happens fast.

Lucky for all of us, no one was seriously hurt and we have a good relationship.  I don’t even want to imagine the alternatives.  There were some tears, some grounding, some taking away of toys and privileges and hopefully some learning.  Some parents kiss their kids good-bye in the morning, some give a hug and say I love you.  I tell my kids to make good choices every day before they step on the bus.  I think I’ll start saying it to them as they head out to play too.

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