Today I went to one of Zachary's hockey games and it was the most brutal game I have been to in my 9 years as a hockey Mom.
Let me state for the record that I'm the Mom who knows how the game is played. I love to see a great shot and a strong check. I yell and chear and jump in the stands.
What I saw today was shocking. My son alone was punched in the face 3 times. I saw a player on his team hit in the head with a stick. I saw tripping and charging. Our goalie was checked twice (this is not done). I saw beligerance to the official.
It reached a level where our players were being hurt and as parents we were concerned for the safety of our children.
Let me add that the two officials called only 3 out of the unbelievable amount of penalties.
Now back to my son getting punched in the face. After the first incident, I of course yelled for a penalty which did not happen. Zachary did not retaliate which caused me to breath a sigh of relief. Then the second time I didn't see, Zachary told me after the game. But I saw the third hit, it was the same player each time. My son was down on the ice and the boy was on top of him and hit him while he was down. I also saw my son come up and draw back his fist and then after a second or two take it down, get up and move away. Zach is 6'1", the other boy was smaller, he could have hit him and he didn't. This is the first game in a while where he received no penalties whatsoever.
He continued to play a clean game as did his entire team. Now keep in mind that this is a team of 13 and 14 year old boys who kept their composure through an hour of being pumelled. They threw no punches, they did not stick or trip. AND THEY WON 2-0.
I am very proud of them all.
As a woman I do not completely understand the ways of men. I know that they fight sometimes. And I know that there are unspoken rules as to how they interact aggressively. It seems stupid to me-this need for aggression, but Iacknowledge it. I have to as a mother of 3 sons.
I have raised my children to use their words in a conflict. I have told them that you will never change someone's thinking with your fists. You must share your thoughts and ideas with them.
They don't always listen to me. Tyler has been in trouble before at school for fighting, so I have had to take a stand and make some rules for engagement.
Rule 1: You never hit a girl. This started a series of questions...what if she hits me first?...what if she is bigger than me? The answer: YOU NEVER HIT A GIRL.
Rule 2: You never fight at school...period. You get a teacher involved if you have a conflict.
Rule 3: You never throw the first punch.
Rule 4: You only react to the extent that stops the violence. Fighting is only acceptable to defend yourself, it is not something to take pleasure in.
There is so much that children are exposed to in this day and age. It's sometimes hard to know what the right things to say and do are. Today I felt like I just might be doing a good job at this Mother Gig.