Taking a 10 year view

When my kids were small, we thought it was adorable that they sidewalk-chalked the driveway with a face off circle and a goal crease and drew a hockey net on the garage door. And so darn precious when they commandeered the Cozy Coupe and drove it in circles, mimicking the Zamboni. And when they made impromtu goalie pads from pillows strapped to their legs and played together for hours we were, well, we were just happy they’d gotten the hell out of the house and stopped whining. Fresh air, togetherness, unstructured play– those are all things that are great for kids. It was so cute. And completely harmless. Like this:

Total Hocke Ad

Fast forward 10 years. Kids are on the driveway, playing hockey. Still out there for hours, laughing and shooting pucks. Shooting, and missing. But now they are bigger kids. Ten years bigger. And stronger. A lot stronger. And now, this idyllic scene looks more like this and your garage door makes a funny cracking sound when you open it.


Ten years ago, we had no idea what we was in store for us. We fretted about what team to try out for, or what position our kid was playing or how we were going to get them to across town at rush hour to a 6:00 PM game. Today, we have a hard time to remembering what we worried about or why. Our kids have made some great friends, had some good laughs and put a lot of dents in that garage door. They are still playing, still having fun and we have a lot of great stories to tell. And a garage door that needs replacing.

My dad had a sign in his office that said, “When you are up to your ass in alligators, it’s hard to remember your original intention was to drain the swamp.” I think that holds true for a lot of things, but especially for youth sports. When you are knee deep in juice boxes and grumbling parents, it is hard to remember that none of it will matter in 10 years. What will matter is the fun you had and the friends you made along the way.

So if you spent the last few weeks worrying about what tryouts you should attend, or grousing about who started at 3rd base, or worrying that your family vacation is going to impact your child’s playing time, look 10 years ahead and remember that you’re raising future adults, not future pro sports players, and stop stressing about it. In 10 years, you won’t even remember, and neither will your kid.

What’s your 10 year lesson? Or if you haven’t been in it that long, what’s your 5 year or even 1 year lesson?

7 Comments on “Taking a 10 year view”

  1. pat coutts says:

    I LOVE this laurie!! SO true…the time spent with the kids and the friends and memories they made and have made it all worth it

  2. picturegift says:

    One year lesson…freaking out while watching a game (ie, sideline coaching [when not the coach], anticipating scoring, anticipating defensive plays, etc…) will NOT effect the outcome of the game. I found it’s more important to relax and let things happen and stick to encouraging the players. This is not easy for me and I will have to work on it every game. Probably forever.

  3. Blogbrarian says:

    Truer words were never spoken, Laurie. I’ve been trying very hard to use the ‘is this really going to matter in five (or ten) years?’ litmus test and I have to say it’s made me think differently about a lot of things.

    I also need that sign your dad had in his office for my desk. Your dad was a wise man and he raised a smart daughter.

  4. ha ha, very true:) and a great sign by the way

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