My Weekend with Champions!

Nine scheduled games, over three weekend days, two separate ice hockey teams , three different ice rinks, a six hours car ride from St. Louis to Dells, Wisconsin…. twelve hours (if you count the round trip, ) oh and a total of 4 hrs of flying time one way for me after clinic, to meet up with DH and our 10 yr old in Madison , Wisconsin . That is , after they drive about an hour each way to pick me up from the Madison airport and back to Dells Wisconsin.

Thankfully, the rest of our children stayed home in the loving care of their grandparents 💕 sprinkled with play date with dear friends allowing this weekend to be possible.

Dells Wisconsin was where all the action was happening this weekend- an ice hockey tournament in all its snowy, freezing glory!☃️

Our 10 yr old daughter enjoys playing ice hockey and I simply love watching her play this sport. She is also as tough as they come . On the ice, she seems to have a smile on her face even as she is digging very roughly for a hockey puck against an opponent. I am also proud to announce that she typically wins these “puck digging” fight. Her skating is as fast as lightning even though she looks like she is gracefully gliding on ice, like the true ballerina that she is.

She is strong and stubborn too🤨. Her jersey numbers are #7 and #77 on each of the two teams she chooses to play on. Yes…she chose to play on TWO separate ice hockey teams this year. One is a co Ed team- the Rockets, where she is one of 4 girls in a mostly all boys team.. The other team is an all girls team- the Lady Falcons, which she only joined this year.

These ice hockey teams are “10U” which stands for 10 yrs and under ( this is based on birth years so the kids are born between 2011 and 2013).

Getting ready for a game in one of her team Jerseys💕

Anyone who has ever watched an ice hockey game knows that there is A-LOT to learn about the game. Terms such as “off sides, icing,what constitutes a penalty etc etc. I am STILL learning big time even though I have 3 out of 4 of our kids who have been ice hockey players for a while now🤨 (..clears throat) but please no judgements

Nonetheless, I can usually tell when the puck goes into the net and a goal is scored, hopefully in favor of OUR team. Then there is the eruption of cheers from the spectating crowds( typically parents and grandparents of the players). Some even bring boom boxes and cow bells to make exciting celebratory sounds, it’s really something to behold as the atmosphere can be electrifying!

That is exactly what happened this afternoon , as my 10 yr old all girls team went against another all girls team for the final championship game. Incidentally both team came all the way from St Louis to end up playing each other for the championship game in Wisconsin , after all the eliminations were made.

Both of these teams were magnificent!

Watching these players own the ice rink was incredible. They played with SO much vitality , smarts, tenacity, attitude and even sprinkles of grace, as they battled it out for the championship.

All of these young players played with so much heart, hard work and teamwork . Some faced adversity in the forms of falls, injuries but they just kept getting up! It was clear that their marvelous coaches and parents have supported them all so well! It was also clear that this mentality will serve them so well in the future, when life demands GRIT!

Okay, do you know the point where the hockey etiquette calls for all players to kneel on the ice while an injured player gets evaluated for injuries . Everyone is frozen in anticipation, and the ice rink is quiet as a monastery , while everyone awaits the outcome….

Finally , the players is “well enough “ to get back up and both their team mates and those of the opposing teams bang their hockey sticks on ice in part celebration and part relief that the suspense is finally over for all of us …phew!

Some people wondered how our daughter was navigating playing for two separate teams on the same tournament weekend and the truth is , it’s just GRACE!

As parents we strongly encourage our children but we don’t force things on them. She WANTED to play on these two teams, She WANTED to attend all the tournament games for both teams.. and she did! Waking up early in zero degree weather to put on her gear and head out the hotel room, with very little prompting. I recognize that this may not be “typical”, but she is definitely not your “typical” 10 yr old…. She’s always felt like an ole soul❤️

Although she is the youngest of our 4 children, I call her “ grandma”. For example, last summer , she spontaneously requested to “ borrow” some money for supplies to start her “moolery jewelry” business . To date, She still operates her business and continues to donate part of her profit for educating children in our African village.

Anyways, luckily the schedules this weekend permitted her to play on both team without much overlap … well, until the last game where she could only play about half the game before she had to leave to get to the other teams final game

This morning, I was blessed with a gift in the form of a question from an intelligent friend/colleagues . It reminded me of the importance to “ check in” on the origin of the motivation for the activities we , as parents choose for our children. It is important to remember that just because we CAN, doesn’t mean we SHOULD.

Life thrives with balance . As a child psychiatrist, I believe , that balance should include open dialogue between parent and child regarding their extracurricular activities.

Proud of her face painted self with her championship trophy on the ride back home🙏🏾💕
Our fantastic champions and coaches!

As much as I love watching my 10 yr old play ice hockey, I also needed to check in with her times to make certain that SHE loves playing hockey just as much!

Thankfully she answers affirmatively each time…phew😅

Overall , I wouldn’t trade this Dells Wisconsin frigid cold , snowy, tournament weekend with all its freezing ice rinks, busy game schedules, team and family bonding time with DH and our 10 yr old… I think we are all contently exhausted 🥱 , with our proud champion safe and sound ,and with hearts full!💕

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

Catching up on homework from the weekend 😊
Reunited with her furry brother Teddy 💕

19 thoughts on “My Weekend with Champions!”

  1. I really don’t know how you do this combined with career and everything. Amara is definitely strong. I love the kneeling on the ice rink when one player is being examined. It’s sooo team spirited.
    I now know way more about ice skating than i have ever known. Very interesting read

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    1. So we’ll written. Love her special name as she looks exactly like her OMA did at 10. Amara has a huge heart and giving spirit. She is also “a heck of a hockey player on both teams”. Love your musings.

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  2. Thanks for sharing . She is so talent in everything. I Mr. Hill and I are truly excited. I love you guys tell her Congratulations 🥰🥰♥️♥️😊

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  3. Kelechi – I love this post and hope you continue sharing your powerful thoughts. I can see that it’s especially important for you to share your thoughts while you’re “in the moment” and feelings are fresh. You and Chris are amazing parents and I’m blessed to be known as your children’s Oma.

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    1. We love you to bits Oma❤️ thank you to you and Opa for making this weekend possible! And yes I definitely prefer writing from the present( for better or for worse)😅

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  4. I always enjoy your blogs! I’m very impressed and so proud of all of you! Such a beautiful family!! I love all the pictures and all of you!!

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  5. What a lovely write up. I enjoyed reading it. You’re a great human being. Thanks for all you do for your family. Amara is so beautiful and talented 🤩 God’s blessings always~ ❤️

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  6. I hear you with the check in. Gosh some asked how you do it and I really have no idea. You are amazing. Extra curricular activities are so not my favorite thing to do and I really admire your zeal and with ice hockey. So proud of you and her. Congratulations

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  7. Kele nwanne, I always enjoy your honest descriptions of activities in your children’s lifes. I definitely in these excitements and wish that I had one third of your strength!!! Amara’s ability to participate fully in 2 opposing teams is phenomenal and represents the energy that she sees in you and Chris. Congratulations to her and more wins to you all.

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  8. Beautiful article and a great reminder for us parents to ensure that we encourage our children to choose for themselves what they are passionate about. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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