Talk about stress, I am not sure how he does it. Facing shot after shot, break-away after break-away…and lots of them. He is 9 and is passionate about being a goalie. He is confident, self-assured and tells me how he anticipates the shots and uses visualization to defeat his opponents. He is 9 and is passionate about being a goalie. His limited career of one year in net has turned me into a raving lunatic from the sidelines.
His team is getting better, perhaps even peaking in time for the playoffs but they have had limited offence and minimal defence for most of the season. I can be heard shouting from the other end of the arena, or so my other son embarrassed to be near me, tells me. My young goalie has been the recipient of many game pucks, even though they have lost most of their games. He is proud of his position on the team and happy to have full-on pressure.
So now I add being a goalie’s mom to the list of descriptors I have acquired since having kids. I am not just so and so’s mom, or class parent, I am now a goalie’s mother. Talk about stress, each time the other team is in his zone, I cringe. Every break-away, I hold my breath. Every save is a small victory. Every goal a defeat. Every time the puck isn’t cleared by his team, I yell. Every bad bounce, I feel a bit sick. Goalie’s are a special breed, to be able to take the pressure – to be a hero or a heel, to be revered or shunned. I am just hoping I up to the job of being his biggest fan! I found this poem and it does a great job of summing up what it feels like to be a goalie’s mom:
I’m sure you’ve seen her at a hockey game,
Although you may not know her name.
She seldom sits with her friends or the crowd
Who get so excited and yell so loud.
The rest of the teams they can give and take,
It’s the goalie who always makes the mistake.
“Take him out” they holler “He’s a sieve!!”
“He doesn’t even deserve to live!!”
But when the contest is going the other way,
They have nothing but praise and good things to say.
“He’s stopping them all. Isn’t he great?”
“If he keeps this up, we’ll be going to state!”
When overtime comes, she can no longer stay,
But goes to the lobby and starts to pray
And cautiously listens to hear a loud roar.
She then knows that one team have now made a score.
Her heart in her throat, she peeks at the fans.
They are joyful, screaming and clapping their hands.
With a sigh of relief, she know her boy’s team has won,
So for now there won’t be any criticizing her son.
She says a quiet “Thank you God” as she starts to the door.
Today’s a happy ending, but she knows there’ll be more
Times when the goalie doesn’t come through.
There’ll be days when she’ll brush a tear from eye
And days when she’ll want to break down and cry,
For the player with the almost impossible task.
Oh, how she loves that child from behind the mask.
Yes, I’m sure you’ve seen this lady at one time or another
‘Cause she’s a special breed, she’s the goalie’s mother.