My 8 year old son is playing hockey this year for the very first time. He slipped a pair of hockey skates on his feet for the very first time just 13 months ago when I told him that if he really wanted to play hockey he'd need to learn how to skate first.

Thinking {and probably secretly wishing} that this would pacify this deep desire within him to play hockey, I took him to and from the Elk River arena each Tuesday morning last school year where he learned how to skate.

He worked hard, he fell down a bunch but he loved it. Loved it. The highlight of each week was going to skate and he was so determined.

Just a few weeks into lessons he was skating circles around kids twice his age. He did it.

He's tried lots of sports in his little life. From baseball to soccer to golf and basketball. He loves football and snowboarding and is still as passionate as ever about hockey.

I get that it's like against the religion of the state of Minnesota to not want your kid to play hockey but I did not want my kid to play hockey.

With five kids we're busy enough, I thought. And of all the things I've dreamed about myself, being a hockey mom was not one of them.

Alas hockey hasn't been far from his mind all these months and this summer, when hockey sign ups came up, he was begging and pleading and reminding me of the deal I made last year.

"You did say that if he learned how to skate, he could play," my husband reminded me. 

"Yeah, I did. Because I thought that he'd give up on it."

He didn't. He won't. He loves it.

Two weekends ago, he had his first practices. Set up more like an age evaluation, I've likely never been prouder. While he skated and went station to station with kids his age, many of whom have been skating and playing for 3-4 years, he did it all. 

Yeah, he wiped out a few times and watching him try and skate backwards was a little bit painful, but he did it. And he smiled the hugest smile he could from beneath that helmet with his mouthguard hanging out. He did it.

And maybe this will be a one year thing and we'll move on to the next thing. And maybe we won't. Either way, I'm proud of my kid. For trying something new, for working hard, for being determined to do it and not let anything get him down. He isn't out there comparing himself, he's out there working his tail off.

So now I'm a hockey mom and I'm the first to tell you, I had no plans of being one. But kids, man. 

They'll turn you and twist you and get you when you least expect it. 

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