While I am the epitome of “bags of enthusiasm, very little talent” when it comes to all things sporty, H has never met a sport he didn’t like. As a child and in his teens he played hockey, football, ice hockey, rugby, learnt figure skating and competed for North of England schools in cross country and athletics. At university he played in Cuppers (inter-college competiton) for everything his college entered, including lacrosse, which he’d never played before, and ballroom dancing (ditto). Even when we were first married and had jobs and other things to occupy our time he was playing hockey, five a side football, had taken up taekwondo, oh and we were training for a marathon, and if I say that now he only plays hockey in the winter and cricket in the summer, and trains with friends all year around, oh and plays a bit of golf when he gets the chance, you can see why I truly do mean “only”. In short, he loves sport, and he’s one of those people that’s annoyingly good at anything he tries.
And I think Pip might just be the spit of his Daddy when it comes to sport. He’s loved rolling a ball across the floor and chasing after it since he was crawling, only nowadays it’s less of a gentle roll and more of a full on overarm lob. He likes throwing things, frequently small wooden blocks, not at someone, just watching them bounce down the length of the lounge and I have a funny feeling that our “no throwing indoors until you can pass your indoor throwing certificate” that has worked so well for the girls won’t cut the mustard with Pip because he probably could get the beanbags in the laundry basket.
When Elma petitioned H for a mini table top table tennis set when they were shopping the other week it was Pip who made off with the paddle and ball; hitting the latter down the hallway and toddling after it, and it’s Pip who can most often be found trying to make off with H’s hockey sticks.
So imagine his delight to be at Grandma and Grandad’s last weekend; the home of all of H’s sporting beginnings and a lot of sporting equipment.
There are always a couple of golf clubs propped up against the wall in the garden for (gentle) practice shots and every time we went out into the garden he made a beeline for them, and the golf balls hiding in the flower beds like a sport-based Easter egg hunt. That the golf clubs were nearly as big as him was apparently not a problem, he could see what Daddy was doing (and to a lesser extent Mummy – I do one good shot in about every five!) and where we go, there Pip follows, watching us all very intently and then desperately trying to copy. I’m actually quite impressed that he can even made the end of a golf club connect with the ball at all – it took me ages to be able to hit the ball off the tee more times than I missed and I was in my twenties when I tried to learn.
But if he thinks golf is fun, hockey looks set to be as much of a passion for him as it is for H. Pip is properly obsessed with playing hockey; he will bring you a hockey stick until you stop whatever you’re doing and play. He will happily play with one of the many many full size sticks that rattle around our house, though he prefers Kitty’s junior stick, so when his grandparents found his auntie’s mini stick it was as if all his Christmases had come at once. Finally, a Pip-sized hockey stick!
He spent the entire weekend trailing it after him, and accidentally clonking people around the ankles, and getting his ball stuck in corners, and just occasionally making contact with the ball and sending it spinning across the room.
When H and I first moved into our own house I remember his parents commenting that after years of having him playing hockey up down and around their house it was nice to see that he did exactly the same in his own house. I think he must have given them heart failure on a regular basis given teenage boys think that practicing reverse stick aerials from half way down the stairs is a perfectly sensible thing (though fairness requires me to mention that he never actually broken his parents’ house playing hockey – the radiator was a dart and the dining room window was an ice hockey puck – H says the irony is that as he’s very good at hockey he’s only broken himself playing).
And so I look at my husband, who still plays hockey inside, though more gently now we have lots of little people with squishable fingers running around, and then I look at his son, and I can so clearly see our future: really really good home insurance!
Joining Katie at Mummy Daddy Me for The Ordinary Moments