HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
November 20, 2006, Herald Journal

Just one more time

By JEN BAKKEN

My oldest son plays hockey and each year, when the season starts, I can’t believe how much he’s grown. I stopped at the rink to see them practice and I couldn’t help but shed a few ‘mom tears’. All the boys he has played with over the years are now young men and it’s hard to believe they’ll all be graduating high school this year or next year. I can’t help feeling nostalgic.

I remember when my son was a preschooler and floor hockey was a daily activity in our living room. My son would beg, “Mommy go be the gowee in the hodey net, peeeezzz!”

Then, when he started kindergarten, he brought home a hockey sign- up sheet and I can still picture the excited expression on his little face. At that time, he had no interest in learning to write his name and I told him he had to be able to sign his name on the papers in order to play hockey. I’ll call it stretching the truth, with good intentions, and it worked. He sat right down at the dining room table and within a couple hours, was writing his name.

Recalling his first hockey practice still makes me giggle. He thought he’d get out there and right away ,be playing a game. I don’t think he understood what “practice” meant. Even through the helmet I could see the disappointment in his big blue eyes.

While I was sitting in the stands, eating popcorn, he skated over to me. There he was, in front of me, barely able to see over the boards. Through his mouth guard he mumbled, “Mommy, I’m bored, this isn’t a game . . . I want to come eat popcorn with you!”

Through the years, I’ve gone from carrying his hockey gear, putting his gear on him in the locker room and tying his skates, to being just a spectator. Now, his hockey bag is so heavy I can barely lift it, he can tie his own skates, and I would never be allowed anywhere near the locker room!

Sometimes, life moves so fast and you don’t realize it. We run from here to there, rush to this or that, and barely have time to think or even breathe. It’s as if one minute, my son was a little boy and while I blinked he became a young man. I wish sometimes that I could rewind time, just for awhile, to go back and be the gowee in the hodey net . . . just one more time.

Tiny Tales is a column dedicated to children in our community and the times when they create a wonderful story to tell. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, family member, caregiver, teacher, or anyone with a child in you life . . . there’s always a tiny tale to tell.

It may be cute or funny things a child has said or done; any of those endearing moments you’d love to share with others, and people, like me, enjoy reading.

Here in Delano, we are proud of our community, our schools, and our children . . . why not have a column about our little ‘tigers’?

You can email your tiny tales to; jbakken@hjpub.com or mail them to Tiny Tales, PO Box 498, Delano, MN 55328, or just stop by our office next to New Attitudes Salon, Hwy 12 East.