“Each man should frame life so that at some future hour, fact and his dreaming meet.” (Victor Hugo)
Lest anyone think all that has been happening in the unexpected life of our family are boys making less than ideal choices—like ditching kindergarten and scheduling a playground fight with a school bully via Facebook—we’ve witnessed a few dreams become reality, too!
Several months ago, we saw my oldest achieve a lifelong (since he was 5 years old) dream: to play hockey at the college level. I confess, the first time I saw my son skate onto the ice while the fans roared their support, I think I was probably the only person there with tears rolling down her cheeks! I couldn’t help it. Everyone else may have seen a tall, handsome, athletic man on ice skates, skating like the wind, fighting for the puck and working for a goal…but all I could see was a little preschooler so passionate about skating he never took off the blue Playskool skates he strapped to every pair of shoes he owned; the kindergartener who begged me to let him play hockey; the little boy who hounded his mother all day for what seemed like every day of the year to let him play hockey, until 5th grade, when I finally relented and enrolled him at Big Bear; and the enthusiastic boy who came off the ice after his first game so thrilled with everything about the sport he uttered words I never expected to hear come out of my ultra-competitive son’s mouth: “Mom! Hockey is SO FUN, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, you’re just so thrilled to play the game!”
He never quit. He seemed to eat, breathe and sleep ice hockey from that moment forward. He was out practicing his shots or skating before school. He played against anyone he could get to put skates on. And long after the sun set, I’d hear him outside whacking the puck with an energy that never left him. His enthusiasm finally led us to install outdoor lighting so he could practice longer each night. And the day he played his first college ice hockey game was quite a moment. For him and for me.
It was a season of growth…for both of us. Last weekend, I watched my son play his last home game of his inaugural college ice hockey season. I was a lot more relaxed, there weren’t any tears, but I was still full of admiration for my son and all that he accomplished in making his college ice hockey dream come true.
It just took one dreamer. ”Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” (Harriet Tubman)
That, and a kick in the pants. Remember: ”Dreams will get you nowhere, a good kick in the pants will take you a long way.” (Baltasar Gracian)
True, for all of us. No matter the dream, no matter the unexpected opportunities you’re blessed with, you can go as far as you need to; as far as you dream to. Supplemented, of course, by the occasional, well-administered kick in the pants.