An interesting thing happened on the way to the stadium

August 4th, 2011

So an interesting thing is happening at hockey practice: I’m becoming friendly with several of the parents. There’s Nice Woman Who Helped Small Boy With His Bag and Trainer’s Wife and the mother and father of The Boy With the Beautiful Hair and Awkward Swimming Pool Moment Guy. There is Fellow Hockey School Trainer1 and Fellow Hockey School Trainer2 and Lady I Can’t Quite Figure Out Yet. I’m friendly with these people. I use friendly advisedly – we chat at practice, but with the possible exception of the mother of The Boy With the Beautiful Hair we probably won’t have a relationship outside the hockey rink. I’m reserved, Swiss people are reserved, and the parents of hockey players are busy, heavily scheduled people: the cards are stacked against it.

But that’s okay. I’ve never been great at making friends – I can never quite figure out the way in – and this being friendly and chatting thing, this being part of a group by default, is new and fun. I can walk into practice knowing that I’ll know people, that I’ll be known, that words can be exchanged, that I belong. I wrote in a recent post about the Small Boy knowing his way around Hockey World, being at home there. Turns out I am, too.