After getting to the airport - using public transportation - we found out that our plane was delayed about 30 minutes; which wasn't too bad and definitely wasn't anything to complain about as several of the other team families were delayed much longer. Several didn't get to the hotel until well after curfew (of 8pm). Matthew and I did finally arrive in Phoenix, got our luggage and took the hotel's airport shuttle to the hotel...where we checked in, got settled and headed up to the restaurant. We had a nice dinner - Matthew enjoying his protein (shrimp cocktail) and pasta (speg noodles w/o any sauce or butter) - and of course the chocolate milk shake. We did get a fruit plate with yogurt to take back to the room with us, something to round out the breakfast food we brought from home. This was pre-planning for the next day because his first game was at 7am and the hotel "free" breakfast buffet didn't open until 7am.
The alarm rang at 4:45am: "up and at'em!" This gave Matthew a 45min to eat, dress in his shirt/tie/dress pants, and pack his hockey bag so we could meet our ride at 5:30am. The coaches ask the players to all be at the rink 1 hour and 15 minutes before every game. This gives them time to get settled in the locker room, change into their warm up attire, go outside and do warmups, come back in to change into their hockey gear and be ready to listen to the coach's last minute pep-talk. However, there are many times that we believe that 75 minutes is a little too long and too early to be at the rink; for there always seems to be sometime for craziness that leads to someone or someone(s) getting into mischief!
Saturday, there were 3 games in total that Matthew's team played: 7am, 10:55am and 7:30pm. The first 2 games, the team played horrible. Either you were a player who was "sat" for a portion of the game...or got a "talking to" by the coach during/after the game...or you were one of the lucky ones who experienced both. Either way, after the second game, all the kids looked a little upset. Matthew did have a little breakdown as soon as we got back to the room after the second game. After giving him sometime to "let it all out", we had a good talk about some of the issues that the coach talked to him specifically about. He is the captain, and with wearing the "C" on his jersey comes a lot of responsibility and expectations from the coach. Some of these expectations are things that he needs to do on ice, and some are things that he needs to perform off ice - like trying to maintain a disciplined locker room. Not an easy task for an 11 year old. But we talked about many different options that he could try the next time that the locker room situation gets out of hand. After talking, I could tell that he felt better.
Between that second game and the evening game, Matthew and I ate lunch in the room, watched Avatar and napped. While he was sound asleep, I took that opportunity to sneak in an hour on the treadmill - something that I definitely needed. Early morning games and hotel exercise rooms that are not 24hours are not good things for me :)
The evening game...well the team played much, much better. They still lost - but they played as a team, faster and more skilled looking...and Matthew scored the first goal of the game and assisted the second. The Matthew I knew was back!
Again we had an early morning game - 8:40am, a little more reasonable. And a second game at 12:45pm. Again, the team did play better than they did the previous morning - they still lost, but they did play much better. After the last game, we had a nice quick lunch with the family we were sharing a car with and then headed to the airport...only to find out that our plane going home was delayed by 15 minutes. With a lot of time to kill, Matthew enjoyed some chocolate ice cream while I got an opportunity to cruise the airport shops. Fun stuff...but nothing that I had to have. After boarding the plane late, it was amazing that we landed right on time...how much time do those airlines pad their flight times?
Robert's team in Medicine Hat...
While in Phoenix with Matthew, Robert and his hockey team were at the Medicine Hat Hockey Hounds tournament (Alberta Canada). It was a challenging weekend for him. Not only being there without mom & dad...which he survived very, very well...but the team lost every single game. Unlike Matthew's team, who played better and played as a team even though they lost all their games - Robert's team just didn't try to play well; especially as a team. After the first few losses, Robert's coach tried to mix up the lines hoping for something to "click" with the boys...unfortunately Robert got with some of his teammates that are a little slower, play too individualistic and/or are afraid to play agressively. So, nevertheless, the tournament was a big upset and the team a disappointment. In the grand scheme of life, Robert got a lot out of the weekend -
- Traveling with out DH or I
- Making choices for ones self
- Prioritizing how to spend one's money; budgeting what you have to last the entire trip
- Dealing with losses
- Dealing with disppointment of team's outcome and teammates who don't seem to care
- Figuring out what is important to you - what you can control and what you can't
On the Stitching Side of life...
I did get in some quality stitching time to work on the Family Sampler- at the airports, on the airplanes and in the lobby of the hockey rinks while we waited for the game to start. I didn't get a chance to snap a photo of the progress yet - but will make sure to post one tomorrow.
So, until then my friends. Thank you for visiting and I am sorry that I haven't been able to fullfill the blogging everyday during NaBloMo...but I am sure that you will understand.
Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!