The Activity Dilemma

20091226 skating - 15

My oldest son first tied on skates when he was 2 and a half. It was November 2009, and the Olympics were about to land in Vancouver. An outdoor rink had been set up, and so we slapped on his bike helmet, rented some skates, and tooled around the rink with a walker.

It was a thrilling bit of Canadiana.

In the fall of 2010, we registered him for lessons at the Olympic Oval at the University of Calgary. It felt like a cathedral of amateur sport and again I felt a magical spirit as my son learned to skate. That year, we went outdoor skating on Christmas Day and we loved it.

That was the last time any of us tied on skates.

It’s now 2 years later. Zacharie is 5 and a half, Charlie is nearly 3, and neither of them knows how to skate.

The latest program guide is out from our rec centre and it features hockey lessons for kids as young as 3. I gasped. Really? 3? Playing hockey?!

My kids don’t really like to watch sports with me on the weekends. I’ve taken them to watch NHL, and WHL games but the Zamboni, popcorn, and mascot is more exciting for them than the action on the ice.

So if we are to follow our kids’ leads when it comes to registering activities, that would mean Z would continue a path in swimming, gymnastics, and rock climbing – all things he loves.

Still .. as I watch families around me with young kids in hockey I’m wondering if I’ve missed the boat. I remember those feelings of watching him skate for the first time, of him touring on the same ice as Olympic champions, and of our whole family skating in the sun on Christmas Day and I loved all of it.

I feel like I’m being a bad Canadian dad.

What about you? How did you pick the activity path for your kids?

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Buzz

Buzz is married to Jennifer and has 2 sons. Zacharie was born in May 2007 and Charles in January 2010. Buzz is a radio guy who enjoys building bridges between old and new media. Follow buzz on Twitter @buzzbishop and check out DadCAMP on Google+

2 Comments

  1. Skating does not have to be hockey
    It can just be fun on the ice with the family. I don’t have young children any more so not sure if there is such a thing as public skating.

  2. I am advocate of skating lessons simply because this is one sport in BC all kids did and I wanted to ensure my daughter could… For safety reasons… That being said now that we have relocated to Calgary my daughter is more interested in skiing, rock climbing, indoor soccer and swimming… So I hope her two years from 5-7 are enough…
    We do public skate as a family for a fun fitness actitvy once a month usually in the winter… What about introducing it to them that way…

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