Why do they say ‘Heads Up’ when I say ‘Duck!’?

I’m often amazed at how people can see the same thing very differently.  Consider for a minute the difference in perspective between parent and child.

Just the other day I said to my boys, “You guys don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.”

Not your average band of kale eaters

“Yeah we do. We had french fries for lunch AND dinner,” was their response.

I jabbed back that I meant like leafy green vegetables while they counterpunched with a reminder that their Big Macs had shredded lettuce on it. These point counterpoints usually go the full fifteen rounds with no winner declared.

As you can see, their skills of persuasion while not great are offset by the perseverance of sticking to a point of view.  Hopefully that trait will serve them well in life even if it means having to purchase two seats on a plane because they each weigh 500 pounds.

And so it’s with this theme of perspective that we planned our latest outing of the Dads’ Bucket List crew to attend a minor league hockey game on a night that a portion of ticket sales would go towards funding cancer research.

As we lined up who was going, it was interesting to get perspectives on who was excited about what:

‘Will there be fights?’, ‘How cold will the beer be?’ and ‘You think we’ll see a fight?’ were the common questions from the dads.

‘Can we drive the Zamboni?’, ‘Can I order a Coke every time the ref blows his whistle?’ and ‘Does cotton candy count as a vegetable?’ were common questions from the kids.

Connor McMahon, one tough hombre

As for me, while I was interested in catching up with friends and enjoying the action, I was really looking forward to supporting a young hockey player who was being honored at the game.

Connor McMahon is a 15-year-old goalie who has already been diagnosed and beaten cancer three times.  I know hockey players are tough, but that’s next level stuff.

My wife met Connor and his family several years back and she has chronicled his battle through several stories on TV, one of which was shown at the game.  I’ve also met Connor’s dad, Don, and even did a little coaching with him when our youngest sons played at the same rink a few years back.

As a result, I’ve been taken with Connor’s story.  Maybe it’s because he’s a hockey goalie like I was as a kid.  Maybe it’s how well he’s played a tough hand.  And maybe it’s that he’s somebody’s son and the realization that any family is vulnerable.

Heneghan’s new hairdo. Good look or bad? Depends on your perspective…

I’m glad he’s winning the fight and was happy we were able to marshal a solid group of nearly 40 people to join us to hear his story, support the cause and enjoy the action on the ice.

On the way home with my youngest sound asleep in the back seat, I considered some of the stuff that’s been on my plate along with Connor’s journey and I was reminded of the title of  Richard Carlson’s book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff.”

Even the leafy green vegetables.

Go. See. Be. Do.

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About Matt Boettcher - Dads' Bucket List

Husband and dad to two boys who's always trying to enjoy the humor and meaning in the journey of fatherhood. Check out how things are going at: http://dadsbucketlist.com In addition to these responsibilities I'm also an avid (some would say obsessive) sports fan, very amateur gardener, aging but still active runner, and an always willing to experience a new country traveler.
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