With a heavy heart I placed my husband’s Canucks jersey on a hanger and tucked it away in the back closet for another year. As a die-hard Canucks fan I felt sadness and relief when that game winning overtime goal hit the back of Cory Schneider’s net last Sunday. Sadness that my favorite team had finished the regular season with the President’s Cup but were then swiftly eliminated just one game shy of a complete sweep. Yet relief that I at least could be put out of my pathetic, Kesler-loving misery and not be stuck watching hockey ’til June.
The game ended with all cameras on the Canucks leaving the ice – each with a face any hockey-mama knows well - while from the other bench the Kings celebrated their advancement to Round 2. As the commentators signed off the view switched to the scene outside Rogers Arena. A reporter stood with her back to the crowds now leaving the rink.
“Police are out in full force hoping tonight’s loss won’t mean a repeat of the riots that saw the city under siege last year,” she said.
The on-ice antics haven’t been much better this season, not to me anyway, which is where much of my relief that it’s all over comes from. The behavior on and off the ice these past two seasons have lodged a mighty rotten stone in my hockey loving heart.
The announcement of a 25-game suspension brought down on a notorious NHL goon for a hit that saw a player leaving the ice strapped from his skull to his toes on a stretcher came on the same day the RCMP released the name of another individual identified from the Stanley Cup riots last year.
This guy’s few minutes of shameful fame shows him setting fire to a stuffed bear before flinging it onto a truck that had been turned over. What are you?….Five? Actually I have a 5-year -old. So I take that back out of respect for my sweet boy. Brutal.
The aggression and violence captured on film in the streets of Vancouver that night were horrifying to see. I remember feeling just sick for the parents out there watching then suddenly realizing “Holy crap….that’s MY kid!”. With a 20 and 18 year old in my family the captured clips are just one of many parental nightmares I consider the very worst.
Right up there with seeing a grown daughter on Girls Gone Wild. Stuff that gives you gray hairs overnight.
“Just look at those people!!” I remember saying to my husband as I watched the chaos. “They’re the same ages as our big kids. Can you imagine being a parent and seeing your own kid doing that stuff??”
And then of course it came around full circle. My children would never participate in such atrocities. Would they?
The stories and opinions ran rampant throughout the media and within Facebook. And throughout it all there was a common opinion that showed up in every comment thread out there.
“What kind of parents raise young people like this?” posted one person.
“These people were obviously not raised with any respect or discipline!” raged another.
“These idiots should be brought to justice along with their parents too!!” said many more.
When comment threads show up after young people make seriously wrong choices the talk always comes down to the question of blame and it doesn’t stop at Stanley Cup riots. So….who is responsible for the behavior of our grown but not exactly grown up children?
CHEK News recently showed footage on their FB page of a 25 year old weaving in and out of traffic on a freeway at speeds of 299km/h. The bike is registered to the 25-year -old’s mother and the entire sequence is enough to make your toes curl. It was at about comment number five or so when someone brought the blame home.
“His mother should be fined also….she should be charged for being a lousy parent!”
“The mother needs to be added as an aider and abetter.”
“Even if she didn’t allow him to ride/take the bike she is still responsible. She will have to charge her son with theft and I hope it goes down that way……Teach HER a lesson too. ”
So is it true? Does it all come down to lousy parenting? Are moms, and dads also, to blame for the sins of their grown yet obviously not grown-up kids?
If a 16 year old is caught shoplifting is it automatically his or her Mom’s fault?
For some people I suppose it is. Publicly now too in the world of cyber-speak where judgement from the safety of your own home or I-Phone remains an easy way to cast blame.
Certainly the judgment train rolls into mommyhood pretty early.
The ‘other mommys‘ club can be sometimes be a tough crowd. Your toddler bites another kid? Yeah…that’s just bad parenting, it’s YOUR fault….easy to say if you don’t produce a kid that bites. Some of ‘em bite….and everyone and their dog seems to know the reason for it and how to stop it except for the parents going through it of course.
I haven’t met one parent of a child that bites, spits, swears, hits, or is a general little monster that is happy about their kid’s behavior and isn’t doing everything in their power to change it. And it doesn’t get any easier as our kids move from toddler to ten year old, tween to high school grad, and further into their twenties as well. It seems the blame game is a game no parent grows out of.
When my own kid got busted last summer doing 149 km/h in an 80 km/h zone not only was I enraged at him for driving his teeny-tiny ’94 Civic that fast but I was also horrified for myself.
That somehow it was something I didn’t do as his mother that led him to make the choice to drive that fast that day.
That other parents would be raising their eyebrows at me.
I realized, with some kind words from other parents going through the same thing, that’s all horse-hockey. I didn’t make him drive that fast, he certainly doesn’t see me drive that speed, and he knows if you speed as an N driver and get caught you are done for with points, fines and driving restrictions. He knew the rules going in. No one to blame but himself.
So it’s on to next season for the Canucks and the rest of us. May not see a few regular faces next year, I’ll leave it to the media haggle over who gets to stay and who gets traded or fired, but they will be the same Canucks for me.
Taking it on the chin when they get beat then firing up the Sedins, Kesler, Bieksa and Schneidy next Fall to get us all thinking of Lord Stanley from the first period to the final shoot out of every game. Hopefully they can learn from any bad choices, bonehead penalties, and other people they may or may not be all that keen on. I’m a fan so I just sit back and cheer even when times are tough.
As I try to get through to my own kids….a hard lesson learned is at least learned …I hope.