Now That’s a Celebration

Anyone who has played hockey remembers their first goal.

Mine came in a house league clinic when I was probably 5. I scored during a goal-mouth scramble and afterwards was awarded the puck by my coach. I treated that puck like it was the Stanley Cup.

Ryan had been attending a hockey development clinic for some time. The format of the one-hour, early morning Saturday sessions was always the same: warmup, followed by skating drills, puck drills, and finally a 10 or 15-minute scrimmage.

These scrimmages were very informal. Usually half-ice, coaches or cones for goalies, an indeterminate number of kids per team. Ryan loved this part of practice. He would skate around in the group of kids trailing the puck like a swarm of mosquitoes. As he learned the game better, he would sometimes break from the pack and find and open space in front of the net, whereupon he would immediately begin banging his stick on the ice in a long, exaggerated motion to call for the puck.

The puck didn’t often come. This was more like a game of Nok Hockey, will kids taking turns banging the puck in the general direction of the goal and then chasing after it. Passing, if it occurred at all, was usually an afterthought.

And then it happened. The puck found its way to Ryan. Ryan smacked it towards the empty net. The rest, well, just watch:

Where have I seen such raw, unbridled joy before? A friend suggested this. I think he’s on to something:

That’s what I love most about Ryan’s participation in hockey. The moments when I can see his smile right through his facemask. Even two-plus years later, he still celebrates every goal in every drill as if he’d just clinched Game 7 of the Cup Final.

We should all take such pleasure and joy in something so simple. Thank you, Ryan, for reminding me to enjoy the little victories.


15 thoughts on “Now That’s a Celebration

  1. Here via Jess – Congrats on the blog, love reading about your wonderful family. We have a PDD-NOS dx too, and boy do we Get It. Look forward to reading more of what you have to share!


  2. Just spent my morning commute reading your blog. Found u through Jess at DOAM. Really enjoyed your posts and reading about ASD from a dad’s point of view! Welcome!


  3. That’s one of the benefits of autism (if there is actually such a thing). The ability to see the joy in such everyday things. My daughter has slowed me down and showed me things I would have missed. Visiting from Jess, loved your garage door post!


  4. When Jess mentioned a guest blogger from the past, I assumed it had been before I’d started following her. When she mentioned garage doors, I remembered instantly. Such a great post, as is “Now that’s a celebration.”. My boy’s intense excitement over things that I’ve forgotten how to appreciate grounds me. Thanks for starting this blog. I’m listening.


  5. Thanks everyone for the kind remarks. Thanks too to Jess for referring so much traffic today.

    I’m also happy to report that Ryan is no longer interested in garage doors. Although he can recite from memory the standings from any date in the 2009-10 NHL season…


  6. I too am here via Jess and I too remember the Garage Door post…loved it! I could feel your sons smile when he made that goal and your joy….well it was just as beautiful! Thank you for starting your blog!!


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