Somewhere in the piles of wet towels in our hotel room, layered stench of Matt’s hockey bag, tangle of two teenage girls’ hair implements and our vehicle full of wrappers from God-knows-what, we made memories in our weekend getaway to Duluth!
January and February are particularly messy at our house. Tight work deadlines and challenging projects for Greg and me, ambitious curriculum in school and a jam-packed schedule of activities, sports and responsibilities.
Time to play a little!
1. Road trips rock
Especially when you have fresh licorice (Greg + kids prefer chocolate; I love cherry ropes). And the best conversations happen on the road.
2. Get to the “W” side
The boys played beautifully in our Friday evening game, beating Chaska – Chan to move over to the Winner’s side of the bracket. We also got to play in the very nice Sill Arena at Duluth’s Heritage Sport Center. Great start to a well-run tourney.
3. Do your part
Yet again, I’m reminded that team sports are one of the most valuable things kids do. They learn how to work with others, handle challenging personalities, take direction from other adults–and enjoy victories together. That’s pretty much life, guys.
4. Sleep is overrated
Who needs rest when there’s hockey to play, water parks and arcades to explore?! Our second game was 8:30 on Saturday morning.
Back at the rink, we were all ready to go.
The boys won game #2, too–and a guaranteed trip to either the Championship or Third Place matchup on Sunday afternoon.
But first: Saturday afternoon game.
5. No language barrier in sports
Matt and good buddy Nick have cooked up some trash talk gems. My fave: “So, you’re the only girl on this team, huh?” 2nd place: “If you could skate, you wouldn’t need to swear.” So there.
The boys did get treated to a little Canadian accent in our Saturday afternoon game when we played the team from Thunder Bay. We lost, but our boys hung in there.
6. Just add water
My proven parent tactic for grouchy kids (which = testy parents) : fresh air. Plan B: water. Works every time!
7. When in Rome…
What’s a visit to Duluth without a visit to Grandma’s? Our whole huge group enjoyed a great evening down at Canal Park.
8. Somebody’s gotta lose
The boys played pretty well Sunday afternoon — they took on another Canada team, this one from Sioux Lookout, Ontario. They grow big, strong hockey player up there! Our boys collected their hardware, then one-by-one, they shook hands and congratulated the Sioux Lookout players as they were awarded their trophies. Priceless sportsmanship.
To me, we all won big time. After all, we created fabulous memories. And that’s worth a mess. Every. Single. Time.