There’s no crying in hockey.

My darling monkey, climber of reckless, jumper of daring.

She clambered up the back of her high chair, purposed to dive headlong into the seat. I watched hockey, attending the flying bodies and brutal hits and players getting to their feet with blood streaming from their foreheads and waving off trainers. “I’m fine,” I can see them mutter before getting ten stitches and returning to the game.

Her foot lost its footing on a foothold, and down tumbling she came, tiny butt cushioning her collapse, lollipop head snapping backward to ring off the glass door leading out to the patio.

It was a dull ring, a low tone, but louder than the cheers and whistles and slapshot sounds coming from the television. I turned my head to examine her predicament with every corner of my eyes.

Face scrunched. Certain that crying was warranted. “Dat scare you?” she asked.

“Did that scare you?” I repeated, clarifying.

Yeah,” came her breaking reply. Taking my comprehension as confirmation, she let the tears come. “Are you cwying?”

Often, usually, her hurts are scripted: Did that scare you? Are you okay? Are you sad? Are you crying? Let me see. You’re okay. Dust yourself off. Let me kiss it. You’re okay. You’re okay.

This time I watched her tear up and I did not offer to examine her gaping wound.

She stared into all the corners of my eyes, replacing conviction with hesitation. Then she turned into a hockey player.

I want TRY AGAIN!”

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