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We all got a break from hockey this spring. Welcome or not, nobody was skating, so goalies were all in the same boat. No decisions to make about the best way to spend several months on or off the ice to ensure our kids have fun and continue developing as goalies, as athletes and as young people. No advantages or disadvantages based on those decisions.

So often in other years those choices are, if not motivated by, at least influenced by FOMO. Fear of Missing Out. What hockey opportunity is lost if they don’t play in the Spring? For those who play, what if they play on the wrong team? Alternatively, will they burn out and miss another favorite sport if they keep playing?

Every Spring we face similar decisions.

For some it is an easy choice, for others, agonizingly difficult. We will save that discussion for another day; it is one that can be quite polarizing. But for all of us, the primary motivation is caring for our children. We might not all make the same choices or have the same options but we all struggle because we want the best for them.

This year, faced with the shutdowns of arenas, baseball diamonds, lacrosse boxes, golf courses and other recreation programs almost everywhere due to the COVID-19 pandemic — not to mention financial hardship — that decision was taken out of our hands.

For one Spring, for the first time since people began offering Spring programs outside the minor hockey system, there was no choice to make.

It was a blessing in disguise for many.

Having struggled with this decision every year for the last seven, it was welcomed in our home, and for reasons you might not imagine.

To be sure, it was not the choice any of us would have made. We were not choosing baseball over hockey, family vacation over hockey trip, or some other exciting opportunity over the usual decision. We were simply being given “forced rest” as they call it in the military.

Down time, whether you like it or not.

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