Sports and my daughter

Jeremy over at DadBloggers wrote an interesting article about introducing his kids to sports. It got me thinking a bit about how sports was a part of my life growing up and wondering how sports will fit into my daughter’s life.

Growing up in Buffalo, sports was a big part of life for most people. When the Bills played, the pizza places and bars were packed. My parents had season tickets to the Sabres games for many many years. When we weren’t playing pond hockey from morning until late night, we were playing street hockey. I can remember hiding under the covers with my little portable radio, listening to the Sabres games. I am sure my parents knew.

When I moved away from Buffalo, I had to get the Center Ice pay-per-view package and watch every Sabres game.

But what role would sports play in my daughter’s life?

My daughter was born in a bad year for sports.. at least for someone with a dad from Buffalo. The Bills were miserable, and hockey was dark for a season.

But with the Sabres great run last season, my daughter and I got to see a lot of hockey. I’d let her watch a few minutes of each game before bed. When she hardly knew many words, I had already taught her to raise her arms up and say, “hockey goal!”

When the weather got warmer, we would go out on the driveway and play hockey, knocking a tennis ball around. Me, with my hockey stick, and she with her souvenir miniature stick. Of course, she always wanted to use the big stick. One time, after swiping at the ball for a minute or so, she put down the stick and picked up the ball. Carrying the ball to within a couple feet of the garage, she threw the ball against the door and yelled, “hockey goal!” while lifting her arms over her head.

My daughter can identify a baseball and a football. She knows when a hat is a baseball hat. She occasionally still sees football players and says, “hockey player!” (I’m not sure where she learned so much about baseball — I could care less about it. I don’t watch at home, only occasionally at work).

This winter, I’d like to be able to get her out on skates.

Because sports was a big part of my life growing up, and will continue to be, my daughter will get a fair amount of exposure to sports (not to mention the fact that I work at a sports-related company). I’m not a sports-nut, but I like to follow my teams.

I don’t know if my daughter will like sports as much as me. If she chooses to play a sport – I will be happy. If she chooses to do something else with her time – I will be happy. Would I like for her to play hockey when she’s older? I’d love it! If she shows no interest, will I be disappointed? No.

I will be happy if she will sit and have popcorn and watch the hockey games with me. And if she wants to stop watching and read a book, I will gladly stop watching and read a book.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. But I guess that’s what mommies are for – keeping us dads in check.

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