We’ve always known that we wanted to involve M in activities – because I didn’t play any sports or take many lessons and Joe did. He has music and sports as an adult where I had to search for things to occupy my hands, mind and time.

So far we’ve had M enrolled in swimming, gymnastics and Monkey Rock , which came highly recommended by other Ottawa parents, and which I will highly recommend to anyone who asks. She loves running, she seems interested in music and she loves being in the water. I like having her in classes that allow us to interact with her, and her to interact with other kids. I also want her to have specific activities, like Monkey Rock, that she and her Daddy can do together.

Now, as she grows up, I want to keep her active, involve her in trying new things, but I also want to be cautious about pushing her too hard in the wrong direction. Where is that balance? 

It’s a weird question for me to consider because sports were always just kind of part of my childhood. The only one I remember quitting was figure skating when I was probably about six. My sister was a skater and my brother spent a year doing it too, as I recall, probably convinced it would help his hockey. I didn’t last a day.

I also remember getting frustrated and embarrassed when I fell the first time at hockey. I probably wanted to quit then and there (I had a wee flair for the dramatic) but I stuck with it and hockey was responsible for some of my best memories as a kid. I dabbled in softball, baseball and basketball here and there too but nothing stuck quite like hockey.

I didn’t always adjust well to change as a kid, especially when we moved from the first home I remembered in Northern Ontario to New Brunswick. I had a lot of trouble adjusting but I don’t remember having any problem at all with hockey. I was terrified going to school, terrified going out for choir (which was new to me) but as I recall, the rink was a safe space.

Obviously I’d love if the kid got into hockey (I’m still involved in the sport as a coach) but mostly I just want her to find something she can do that will be a constant throughout her childhood; something that she can look back upon as fondly as I can hockey.

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