By Don Funaro
Being a Hockey dad has been one of my life’s greatest joys.
Growing up playing the great game of hockey, I had always hoped one day I would have a son who would enjoy the sport as much as I did. Fortunately my son Donny took to the game at the age of 5 and has enjoyed it as much as I did and still do. My son will be 17 in October and is currently one of the captains of his High School team and also plays for a strong U 18 team in the fall.
Recently as I started to reflect on things I started to realize that this wonderful journey we’ve been on is coming to and end in two years. All the time we have spent together and all those car rides to distant rinks across New England will be over soon and I am going to make sure I enjoy these final two years because it goes by so fast. In two years Donny will be going to college pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering and my Fall season will not be filled with rides together discussing hockey and other parts of life. He is a fine player but we have no false illusions of playing at that high a level and that is just fine.
Often people feel that if their child does not play college hockey then their time and money has been wasted. Nothing could be further from the truth. The lessons we learn playing this great game can carry on into all walks of life. I could not be prouder of my son because he is a good teammate and conducts himself with class on and off the ice. Nothing could make be prouder.
My advice to parents is to let your son play for the love of the game and the camaraderie it can bring, not just to pursue a college or pro career. If they are one of the special few that is fantastic but those players are few and if he does not get that far your time and money were not wasted.