The first time I saw this picture, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia. Seeing everybody I grew up with brought back a flood of happy memories and I couldn't believe how little we all were! I showed it to a bunch of other Dinomight alumni, and everybody had the same reaction, saying something along the lines of "aw, the good ol days...".
One of the most beautiful things about Dinomights is that even though many players deal with a lot of issues throughout their childhood--instability, dysfunctional home situations, a very flawed educational system, poverty-- being a part of the program gives kids happy memories and a secure place to be a kid in the midst of the stress.
It's cool to think that my sibling's memories of their own "good ol days" are being formed now. I know the friendships they are making are going to be so important to them in the long run. The games, tournaments, summer camps, special activities, Bible study, and even the 6:00 a.m. Wednesday morning practices are all going to be things they happily reminisce about someday.
Yesterday we went to the first game of Tekle's hockey career. He plays for the "mini-mites" and the kids actually just scrimmaged each other, but for them it was a BIG DEAL. Mini-mights are a hilarious age to watch because when one falls down the domino effect follows and pretty soon you see a pile of kids on the ice.
I was so proud of Lacy when she decided to help out with the little girls at the game. It was really sweet to see her happily sharing advice and giving little motivational speeches as she tied the girl's skates. Lacy also assigned herself the job of keeping the kids hydrated while they were playing, and she did a great job squirting water into their mouths (do you have any idea how complicated it is to drink from a water bottle when you have a helmet on?).
I love seeing the program come full circle--Lacy's a player, but she is also a leader for the younger generation of Dinomights. The program has been a huge part of our family's life since it began in 1995--Peter and Jesse were on the original team, I was one of the first girl players, Isaac played, Janaya, Lacy, and Tekle are all current players, and I'm sure someday Aaron will be out on the ice proudly wearing a Dinomight jersey too!