Stereotypes - How My Nine Year Old Girl Taught Me A Lesson - Hockey Style!

in life •  last year

We live in a world of stereotypes.
Some of us fight desperately to change it, but yet they stubbornly exist.

Black. White. Male. Female. Rich. Poor.

When you think of any of these words a picture comes to your mind. That picture is born out of stereotypes.

Now, I think that I have done a pretty good job in my life to not pigeonhole a person into a stereotype. I have even worked as a human rights activist for a time. I believe the Bible says that everybody is made purposefully and beautifully.

All that being said, I have a confession: when my nine-year-old girl who weighs about 10 pounds soaking wet came to me a year and a half ago and asked to play hockey I did not do her justice.

(Her at Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany)

Somewhere inside I decided that because she was a tall, thin, eight year old beautiful girl she wouldn’t have it in her to play hockey. You know, I don’t even think that I realized that I head completely stereotyped her!

(Us Skating)

I already knew she was good on skates. I already knew she loved to be on the ice. I didn’t give her enough opportunities to do it, and I remember joking with her about how she would need to eat steak everyday to beef up before she could play hockey. We joked on the outside while I secretly barred her from it – maybe even unknowingly – on the inside.

Maybe I was afraid for her. I’m still a little afraid that the boys and their parents would see her differently or make fun of her.
She kept asking. We even went to a NHL game for her birthday present in December.

(Go Pens!)

Over Christmas break we went skating at every rink around. She was in her glory! She told me when I was lacing up her skates one day that she gets so excited to skate that her whole body shakes. The last rink we tried had posters plastered all over for hockey lessons. I swear, every person I spoke with that day was connected to youth hockey and raved about it.

Sometimes even in our ignorance things are so obvious that we can’t avoid it. This was one of those times. We signed her up for hockey that day.

Last night was her first lesson. She wore pink sweatpants under her hockey gear. Now, there were a few little boys that could skate circles around her but really, she held her own. She did great!

As I was sitting there watching her, I began to realize that maybe I was the one who needed to learn a lesson. As practice went on I became less nervous for her and more excited.

Her lesson was over and as I helped her take her skates off I asked her what she thought of it. This huge, glowing smile spread across her face like I hadn’t seen before. She said, “I loved it. It was SO fun! I even got to slide across the ice on my stomach!” After we got her skates off she ran around with some of the little boys for a little while and I sat there learning an old lesson in a new way.

Have I always been proud of my baby? Are you kidding? Absolutely! She is smart, funny, beautiful, and athletic. She has a kind heart and is a wonderful friend. She makes me proud 100 times every day.

But last night was a little different kind of pride. I realized that she taught me a life lesson.

I have said her whole life that she can do anything she wants, and you know what? She actually believed me. This kid is not going to let anything stand in between her and doing what she loves. She already knows she can break the mold and succeed – she has proven it.

Monday I bought us some groceries for this week. Last night and the night before I tried my hand at making some steak, so we ended up having it two nights in a row. As we were eating dinner before her lesson, her in half of her hockey gear already, she says to me, “Mom! You said I needed to eat steak every day so I could play hockey!”

Isn’t life funny that way?

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She brings a smile to my face :)

She brings a smile to my face :)


Aw! Me too! She has an uncanny way of teaching me stuff.

Great post, setting expectations for others is never good for either party. You never really know an individuals ability.


I'm surprised on a consistent basis.

Beautiful and inspiring post! Go girl and, definitely, go mom!!! All for one and one for all!!! Namaste :)


@eric-boucher, funny how things happen. She came home from school today a bit upset that another girl was calling her names. I had her sit down and read this. Comments like yours are more than uplifting to me - they are encouragement to her as well. Thank you!


All for one and one for all!!! Great to read this from out here on Haida Gwaii as well. May she also grow in strength and know that she is a powerful and beautiful human being deserving all the respect in the world. This said, humility and inner strength are a monumentally powerful combo. Yet, claiming the right to be respected is also one need to be acclaimed by all. May she find peace in her heart and know that all storms do pass by and like a tree bending in the wind she may let it go by once more while not forgetting who she really is within. All for one and one for all!!! Thanks you from the depth of my heart for sharing this message with me. Namaste :)


I am very excited to share your kind words with her tomorrow. Thank you!

This is super cute!

From your local hockey coach!


This is awesome! I love seeing young girls realize their potential and pick up this amazing sport. As a female who plays ice hockey, I generally only play with men (even played men's college ice hockey when I was younger) - very, very rarely do I get made fun of or get crap for it. I have found that I get a lot more respect than shaming, much more. In fact, most people are shocked (well those who don't know me) that I play. I am small and thin, but strong and flexible - going by outside appearances most people are floored that I play with men. Even more so that I can take the hits. Us girls are much tougher than we look ;P

Btw your daughter looks great on the ice! Can definitely tell that she loves it, she has that drive. I coach the game as well, and not every kid has that. She's very lucky to have parents that are so supportive. Blessings to you and your family - enjoy the hockey life :)