Hockey is a viscous, brutal sport.

Especially when it involves 5-year-old girls.  And one of those girls is yours.  Paige started playing hockey this year (though playing is kind of a misnomer) because of the generosity of my boss.  You see, he paid for her registration and some of her equipment.

Two years ago, I started teaching Paige how to skate.  She did really, really well. Last year, for various reasons, we didn’t get out as much.

Saturday was her first practise — and I immediately dreaded not getting her skating last year.  All her optimism and drive went out the window 1 minute in when she fell and proclaimed ‘I hate hockey!  I never want to play again!’  Great, and only 49 minutes to go (it went downhill from there).

So Saturday was a disaster.  She could barely stand let alone skate.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) she wasn’t allowed to quit.  So like the loving father I am, I kicked her back onto the ice today.

Glorious!  Why, it was as great as watching a triple sow-cow reverse tuck! For Paige could get up after she fell!  She could even skate (more like shuffle) backwards.  All this after one week.

My little trooper.

I’ve never seen her happier when she first picked herself up off the ice without help.  She raised her arms in the air in victory and turned to me (my arms also raised in victory).

Finally…no tears.  Smiles!