the look

You know ‘the look’. Or is it the look?

Either way, you know what it is. At a minimum, you’ve seen it from your mom. Yes, that’s exactly the one I’m referring to. It instills fear, yes? I know it did for me. Well, usually my mom would pinch me not long after as well so I knew ‘the look’ was not going to result in anything good at all.

Well, I was fortunate (question mark) enough to attend two hockey games last week. The first was for a field trip with eleventy billion third through fifth graders for Education Day at the Kalamazoo Wings Stadium. Well, it was educational all right.

I learned that it is never a good idea to attend a hockey game with that many students when you’re on the verge of a headache. I also learned that one of the souvenirs includes a giant and very obnoxious horn that students apparently enjoy. My student sure did. I also learned that hockey players still fight in front of children. I guess it really is a necessary part of the game.

The second game was so much more fun. There were no horns. Yay! We were cheering on the Grand Rapids Griffins in this case. It may have helped that the game was a stitch more exciting. I mean, it was exciting to watch the K-Wings play but they also lost 4-0. That’s less fun. The Griffins kept it interesting and also won in what they called sudden ‘life’ overtime. The crowd (literally) went wild when the winning shot crossed the goal.

Connor also thoroughly enjoyed himself at the game Saturday night cheering, quite loudly, for his Griffins. There was an introductory clapping sound to which the crowd would respond “Let’s Go Griffins!” and it would continue for a few rounds until the crowd started to peter out. Near the beginning of the game, the crowd got into it and Connor, very loudly, got into it. It wasn’t something he was doing to be obnoxious at all. No, he was just literally enjoying himself so much that he couldn’t help but be really loud.

Unfortunately, the family AT.THE.GAME. in front of us was not impressed. I never did quite understand the rationale behind it. They were, I would have to assume, hockey fans. They all had jerseys on (some Red Wings, some Griffins) and I kept hearing the dad explain plays to his son. Yet, every time Connor yelled at least two of them turned around displaying ‘the look.’

I started to get embarrassed (and a little scared because you know … the pinching) and in the first period told Connor to stop. I told him that he was frustrating everyone around us because he was cheering too loudly. I said it loudly because honestly? I was frustrated with them but I felt bad that they were frustrated so I took it out on Connor.

I kept thinking about it and finally realized, ‘um, no.’ Why in the sam heck should my child not enjoy himself because you are at a hockey game and appreciate silence? Should people expect the volume to stay down? Especially when Eric Zane is pleading with the crowd to ‘make some noooooise!’?

I don’t know why it bugged me so much other than I realized that it wasn’t fair to Connor to be asked not to get excited over the game. If he had been obnoxious or, you know, blaring a horn in someone’s ear (not that that ever happened), then I could understand ‘the look’ and likely reprimand him accordingly. But nope. He was just being a young man thoroughly enjoying a hockey game (until that time he lost one Lego piece from a promotional toy we got for attending).

So, in what was likely a fairly immature move on my part, I started yelling just as loudly as he did. As time wore on, the young man in the family ahead of us started cheering as well. Maybe it just takes him three periods of hockey to warm up.

Either way, I’m not sure I acted the way I should. I was upset with myself for getting remotely upset with Connor over fear of what ‘the look’ meant from someone else and I was a bit disappointed that I acted a bit childish in response to the constant judgment. But, it just became one of those instances where I couldn’t keep everyone happy and in this case, I chose my kid. Because after all … he was the only one in the right in the whole dang thing. clapclapclapclapclap Let’s go Connor!

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