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Why She Inspires Me

My daughter is a kind soul. A dreamer. A feeler. A do-er. An improver. And a hockey player. She plays with a team of 16 boys, ages 9 & 10, mostly third and fourth graders. It’s a positive team sport for all, yet I have to believe her take-aways are a bit enhanced. The first time we went to practice, she couldn’t get out of the car. This was a new team and she was the only girl. Thankfully she knew a handful of the kids. Terrified, she took it one step at a time. Get out. Walk to the building. Go in the locker room. Get dressed. Put on skates. Go towards the ice. Step on the ice. And from there… it was golden:-) She did it with her head held high, her mind whirling with fear, nerves and excitement.

Fast forward to this past weekend, our Squirts played a less experienced team which meant a lot of opportunities. A few of our better players could have scored most times, but what they did instead was to help many of the other players score. It was sweet of the kids and fun to watch. Two of these boys, in particular, really wanted Greta to get a goal. She had a few good shots, but often when she would catch a pass, she’d pass it to someone else for the goal. A little lack of confidence, yes, but also a lack of selfishness. She ended the day with five assists, three in one game. Her teammate informed her that three assists earned her the title “playmaker” — a word we’re pretty sure she’ll never forget. Of course I wanted her to get a goal, too… until I talked to her after the game and realized how truly happy she was with things just as they played out. The girl never stopped talking the 2+ hour ride home, jumping from topic to topic, effortlessly taking me to cloud nine with her. What I heard was my strong but gentle lil’ girl conquering one of her greatest 9-year old fears: to play on an all-boys hockey team… and still finding a way to grow and stay true to her kind, unselfish and excitable self.

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