When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

~ Kahlil Gibran, from"The Prophet"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Team Matt & Erin

The recent excitement of Olympic Hockey and Team USA prompted me to dig into some old photos.

Matt is the hockey player in our family, and was part of the ice hockey team at LTHS throughout his four years of high school.

His love for the sport actually started at a younger age when he began playing in-line, or street hockey with the local park district. The season culminated with a tournament called NHL Breakout, held in the parking lot of Soldier Field along the lakefront in Chicago. Hundreds of players competed under the blistering July sun for the weekend.

The house we owned when the kids were younger had a shared driveway with the neighbors, making it extra-wide and about 100 feet long, an ideal street hockey venue. The goal was placed near the end, where the driveway forked to our respective garages. Matt's best friend and hockey teammate, Lexi, lived next door. In order to practice their skills, they often enlisted the help of Erin to tend goal.
Erin, just stand here. We'll shoot and you try to defend. Don't worry. The ball doesn't hurt! Yeah, OK!
The youngest child, typically wanting to be included in the activities of the older kids, often possesses a certain fearless temperament. In other words, Erin usually agreed. HOURS were spent on that driveway - especially with the installation of a floodlight for added night play - practicing skills of ball control, stick handling, passing, slapshots...complete with play-by-play announcements.

I can hear the tap, tap, tap of the ball on the stick (as Matt is doing in the upper photo), the clang of the ball missing the net and hitting the post, the scrape of the sticks dragging against the asphalt, the whir of the skate wheels gaining momentum while rolling down the driveway, the clack of the sticks in competition with one another, the thud of the errantly-shot ball hitting the house, the thwack of the slapshot, and the triumphant "He Shoots - He SCORES!"

There is a marked reminiscence of the sound of their play at dusk, when the bustle of the day's activities waned, giving way to the clarity of the action.

These sounds are among my fondest memories.
Shhhh!! Listen. What do YOU hear?


  1. Hahaha! Matty is so cute! She was fearless! I would never goaltend against those two!

  2. Funny this is my first memory of Erin. I knew Chris and Matt by default from the boys/Cletus. But your girl on those skates by herself on the driveway. Tan....leave it to a white Battle to notice the nice tan on your child. Thanks for the throw back

  3. I love the picture of an itty bitty Erin. Those rollerblades are almost as big as she is! What a tough girl even back then. :)

    "Big E"

  4. What do I hear? Big Wheels! Careening up and down the bumpy sidewalks between our two houses.