Hugh went away at the end of Easter break to a conference. Before he left, Hugh talked to Calder about being my helper and he really took it to heart. It is amazing now when I am home, single parenting, how good Calder is about helping with Boone and Lawson. Last week he actually ran a tub and got in it with Lawson while I was at the table with Boone (who shockingly wasn't done his supper). I have seen a real maturity in the last few weeks. He is definitely still 7, though . . Last week while wearing my heels I told him that he had to brush his hair before he went outside and he starting having a meltdown and threw my shoe across the room!
I am eating my own words as I type that.
Four months ago I would have told you that kids need a break from hockey and at 7 there was absolutely no need to extend the hockey season. And then the phone started ringing. And all of a sudden I was wavering in my conviction.
In late January, I was quite confident that Calder wouldn't go for spring hockey. During the regular season when Calder would have hockey more than twice a week he would FREQUENTLY have meltdowns when we told him he had to go to the rink. He would cry and say he just wanted to stay home (our true blue introvert). Once he was at the rink, he would have a blast, but some days it was an actual fight to get him there.
The two guys running the 2009 Huskie Prospects are hockey buddies of Hugh's. When we were first presented with it, we thought in the very least we should see what it was all about. In order for us to do this we had to snag Calder's buddy, Kohen. Hugh and I knew we wouldn't even get Calder to go for a skate with this group on his own. Shockingly, to both Hugh and I's surprise, Calder never looked back after that first skate (our competitive boy). We had some serious talks with him about what the team was about and what we expected from him. Calder skates 3 times a week with his Huskie Prospects team and not once has he complained. It doesn't hurt that Kohen is playing as well. Two pretty happy guys at their first game in the photo above.
One of the things that convinced us to do summer hockey was the coaching he would get. You don't need to hear their resumes. All 5 of the men know their stuff and one actually does hockey camps for a living. For me the big selling factor of this was that the focus was going to be skill development. These coaches recognize that if they want to have strong Bantam and Midget players, they need to develop skating and puck skills now. There is plenty of time for positioning and systems when they are older. Calder does not totally extend his legs when he skates and Hugh and I were seriously considering putting him in some power skating in the spring or summer to work on this. Because of the Huskie Prospects' coaching, we knew he would have the opportunity to work on his stride during the spring season. On top of this, Hugh was never able to be at Calder's practices during the winter season because they were at 4 pm and it was impossible for Hugh to make it. I'm not going to lie it was pretty exciting for Calder and for Hugh to be able to work together at a practice.
Secondly, we were excited for Calder to play with ability alike players. Calder's coaches this winter did an AMAZING job with the extremely diverse group they had. They did things that benefited all kids. It was an unbelievable challenge and Calder was lucky to have the group of coaches he had, because they were up for it. In my opinion, you can make greater gains with a group of kids if you don't have to scaffold the learning or activities. With the Huskie Prospects, Calder would have the opportunity to have all the drills focus on the ability level he was at. We also liked the idea of Calder being challenged by a group of kids who were all at his playing level and even better yet, the potential for some to be above his ability.
Thirdly, making new friends and doing new things is hard for Calder. I thought I blogged about the disaster that was gymnastics last year. I kid you not, I BARELY got him in the door the first time. Actually, I barely got him out of the house. He ended up loving gymnastics, but new things are really hard for him. We know our son and we know that the more new things we expose him to, the more he will start to learn that the nervousness and fear he feels are normal. We want him to learn how to deal with those emotions and in order to do that he has to be introduced to new things on occasion. Playing on this team would be an opportunity for Calder to have a new experience and meet some new friends. These are life skill things that he needs to work on. (Boone on the other hand, may need to be reined in!)
Lastly, and I think the tipping point for us was the socialization we were going to have. Hugh and I were both looking forward to reconnecting with his hockey friends and having spent the last two winter hockey seasons with Kohen's parents were really excited to hang out with them more.
This is the Calder update that turned into the spring hockey post. Oops.
Calder is also playing ball this spring. Making it to ball will take priority over hockey, in case you were wondering! Hugh and I were so excited Calder chose to play ball over soccer this year. Don't get me wrong. Some of my favorite family members are fanatical about soccer. It is a GREAT game. It's just that ball is
Calder is incredibly excited to go to the lake. We can't wait to see him jumping off the boat in a few weeks!