At eleven Jim was a really good ice hockey player. His team won a place in the finals for the annual regional tournament. As usual, I manned the scoreboard and had a clear view of the action. The team was excited and nervous. Jim, on the other hand, seemed really calm and amazingly focused. He played smart and by the end of the game had collected a hat trick scoring three goals in one game. And, they won the tournament! Overjoyed and proud, and what hockey mom wouldn’t be, I raced to the rink gate to grab him up with hugs of congratulations.
After the traditional handshake between the teams Jim came off the ice like a bullet. He pushed right passed me. Marching up to Uncle Tim, hand outstretched, he loudly said, “Uncle Tim, pay up!” What was going on? Laughing, Tim pulled money from his pocket and handed it over while congratulating Jim on his hat trick and win. Only after inspecting the money did Jimmy smile…it was a huge ear-to-ear grin.
Holding up the money for all to see, it was a $50 bill! Seems Tim told Jim if he scored a hat trick, he’d give him $50. Like waving a red cape in front of a bull, if you gave Jim a money making idea he was all over it! When he wanted something nothing stood in his way. He clearly wanted that $50. This was a memorable experience. Not because of the win; but because I got to observe my young son when he was focused and on fire. Whenever Jim put his mind to something, nothing got in his way. This served him well for a long time. Uncle Tim is now the proud owner of the MVP trophy Jim won for that game along with the puck he was given for his hat trick.