OPINION: A night in Amarillo

Whatever sports or activities your kids are taking part in, it surely has changed considerably since last March
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I put together a Twitter thread Friday night while watching my son, Owen, play in a hockey game for the first time in more than a year.

Whatever sports or activities your kids are taking part in, it surely has changed considerably since last March.

Here’s the contents of that thread, just in case you’re not on Twitter. I’ve received lots of positive feedback on it, so I wanted to share it like this as well:

"Hockey parent thread alert... my heart aches for all the times you’ve missed your kids playing over the past 11 months. We knew we were headed for an existence where Owen would be far away and we wouldn’t be at many games. Obviously, the pandemic made this worse, of course.

"After 12 years of 3-5 ice times a week, when he moved to New Mexico, it was abrupt. A large portion of my social life, which had become extremely attached to hockey related activities, ended. I’ve managed to stay busy, but I miss it so much. Being at the rink, the lousy coffee...

"It leaves a hole that I’m getting to fill tonight in Amarillo, Texas. He’s not having any kind of great night, down 4-0 after two. But I’m having a great time watching our son in a game for the first time since Feb. 15 of 2020.

"Yes, I’m sure he would’ve liked a couple of more saves. Me too, but that’s life on the wire. As this third period ticks down and I’m sitting here watching, I’m more sad that the game is almost over than I am about the goals he’s given up.

"Don’t worry, I know he’s going to be bummed big time that he couldn’t stop them all with his old man in Amarillo watching. He’s way more competitive than I am.

"Me? I’m just fine. I got to do one of my favorite things: watch the kid play.

"So, for all of you that have been missing the rink, the cold feet, the camaraderie of common interests and dreaming the dream, know that I feel damn lucky having been able to get back in touch with this. You all will too.

"Now we’re gonna go eat some steak and talk, and just enjoy being together. Just like we’ve done countless other times. In Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Boston, Minnesota, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Iowa, Indiana, and now Texas. There’s almost definitely lots of places I’m forgetting.

"So hang in there all you hockey parents, and players too. It’s not always satisfying in the moment. But it’ll come back. It’s a great game and a great ride, whether you’re playing MOHL at Tacoma or in the NAHL in Amarillo by way of Albuquerque."

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