I had to pause for a minute. Really? Did my John, player of every sport under the sun including competitive tiddlywinks, who spends at least one evening and most of Saturday running up and down an astroturf in the rain, and cold and thunderstorms, really just say:
“I don’t want to play any more hockey. All I’ve done today is play hockey!”
It’s true, our littlest of little people had exhausted even his father’s insatiable appetite for beating up the furniture and digging up the lawn with stick and ball, to the point that when he was actually supposed to be heading out the door to training, it had very nearly lost its appeal (he still went; it wasn’t that bad).
But where Pip is concerned, there’s no such thing as too much hockey. He will come running up to anyone he can find to give them a stick and a ball and implore them to “play hockey?!”. All day, everyday would still not be enough for him.
And probably as a result of all that practice he’s pretty good. I think he’s got more hand-eye co-ordination at two than I have ever had, and he can give the ball a proper whallop and send it singing its way down to the end of the garden. Club day was his idea of heaven. He watched hockey, he played hockey, he ran around with some small friends, and he ate a strawberry ice cream while watching rounders.
But the bit he didn’t understand, the bit he really couldn’t figure out, was when, rather than being allowed to run up and down along the cricket boundary, Daddy scooped him up and brought him to meet a lady who didn’t have a hockey stick of her own. To Pip, not having a hockey stick is a travesty, and he thought about lending her his, but then decided it was much more important to hold onto it so that he could run away as soon as Daddy let him down. And after all, the lady did have some shiny medals…
Hannah Macleod, Olympic Bronze Medalist from London 2012 and a key part of team that swept to gold medal glory in Rio, came to club day (along with the medals) for a little Q&A and a lot of photos. She is phenomenally dedicated and driven, and it was hugely inspiring to hear her speak, and appreciate just how much hard work and sacrifice goes into those medals.
We tried to explain to Pip that this was the lady off the telly, the one he’d cheered on with shouts of “Go Hockey!”, “Go England!” and just occasionally “Go Warwick!” but I’m not sure he quite made the connection. I hope that one day he’ll look back on these pictures and be glad that we tore him away from all the running around, just for a second.
I hope that all three of my children acquire the lifelong love of sport that their father has. It may be no more than a bit of fun for them, but if Pip could give voice to his life’s ambition right now, I think he’d quite like her job.
Joining Katie at Mummy Daddy Me for The Ordinary Moments