Saturday afternoon Morgan and I were at a pool party for a group of budding hockey players I had the privilege of helping to coach this spring.
I love coaching hockey. Almost as much as I love playing. In fact...now that I think about it, maybe I love coaching more in some ways. My playing skills are very limited and they always were. But for some reason, maybe because I became such a student of the game in hopes of improving, I have had some real successes as a coach. I got such a late start playing the game and even later getting any real coaching. I grew up in an area where the game was very new and nobody knew the game. We taught ourselves and you can only go so far doing it that way. But these kids are young and they love the game and they have resources available that I never did at their age. There are 4 rinks within 30 minutes of my area. There are coaches who have played the game. So when I take the ice with these kids the possibility exists within every one of them that they will go much farther than I ever did. I have coached several boys who went on to play in college as I did, some who played in Juniors, and one who played in the NHL, although I had pretty much nothing to do with his success at that level. But it does reflect well on the level of play I was coaching at to say that he came out of that system. These weren't all newbies just learning to skate.
Anyway... we were at this pool party Saturday and I was hobnobbing with the parents and hanging out. Not really wanting to go in the water because it was cool and crowded with kids. They were having fun and I was enjoying getting to know the parents of the kids I coached this spring and would be coaching this fall.
Morgan came up to me and asked me plaintively..."Daddy come swimming with me". I turned down her request a few times because I was caught up in the adult chit chat. She asked me a few more times and I was going to just convince her I wasn't in the mood for a swim when she said "It's no fun without you Daddy". Bulls eye! She didn't need to say anything else to me. I got my swim trunks on and jumped in and spent the next 2 hours just goofing around in the water with her.
I don't know how many more years I'll hear her say "It's no fun without you daddy". Someday it'll probably morph into "it's no fun with you around daddy!" But for now I am still her hero, and I am still the most fun person she knows. Life has taught me that the moments I have with her, being the most fun person she knows, are few to begin with and can be gone in an instant. Life has also taught me that without knowing it, she is paying me an enormous compliment when she says that to me. And life also taught me what it feels like to have never once said "it's no fun without you daddy".
That keeps me jumping in the pool on hot summer afternoons.
Go have some fun with someone who thinks you are the funnest person in their little world.