|Jacket and broom, tucked in the corner since|
the season ended in April...
But as I was doing some tidying up today, I found myself in the back door hallway picking through jackets and fleeces that needed to be put away, and what did I find, but my son's curling jacket and broom.
Talk about flashback!
Despite the heat, and the slower pace, and the brighter sunshine, and all that goes with late June and the approach of the true, short Canadian summer, I was suddenly overcome by a Proustian moment: transported to those wintry Tuesday and Thursday after-school sessions at our local curling club, coaching my son's school team.
Well, "coaching" might be too strong a word. I directed, supported, advised and encouraged.
The kids were actually led by two experienced young skips who, with the support of their parents and our school's Director of Varsity Sports, had got the whole thing rolling on their own. They made up their teams, followed their skips' advice, watched and learned by example, and allowed me - heck, they even asked me - to play with them during practice when we were short a body.
It was curling at its purest: a bunch of kids playing for fun - and learning while they were doing. Could they all slide, throw and sweep with perfect technique by the end of the season? Nope. But they were well on their way, having modelled themselves on their two well-trained skips.
And, thanks to my obsession with curling etiquette, they knew where to stand, when (and when not) to move, how to respond to good shots and bad, and what a role sportsmanship plays in the sport. They even learned how to manage that wacky scoreboard and picked up some with-hammer/without-hammer strategy as well.
By the end of the season, they were hooked. And every one of them was signed up for next season.
A sudden glimpse of a curling jacket and broom tucked in the corner...
The sights and sounds and feelings resurface - happy memories of a season past.