There have been days that I’ve lost my temper. There have been days that I have not been totally present and with my children. There are days where I was so exhausted, that I let Disney+ and the iPad take the wheel. I’ve burnt dinners. I’ve accidentally broken toys. I’ve dropped my kids off late for soccer practice. I got so caught up with work one day that I nearly forgot to get them off the school bus.
What do these days all have in common? Typically, they resulted with me laying awake at night racked with guilt. I’m aware that its irrational, but after one of those days, I find myself wondering: “Have I failed as a parent.”
Enter Chris Kunitz.
Over 16 seasons in the National Hockey League, Kunitz would go on to play for 5 different teams. I, however, will forever remember him a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The seventh game of the 2017 Easter Conference Finals, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators had played a tight game that eventually went into double sudden death overtime. All that separated either team from representing their conference in the battle for the Stanley Cup was the next goal. At 5 minutes and 49 seconds, on a perfect pass from Sidney Crosby, Kunitz fired a laser shot from the left wing circle that found its way past the goalie to send the Penguins to the finals where they would eventually win their fifth Stanley Cup, their second championship win in two years.
Chris Kunitz played in 1,022 games. Over a decade and a half of playing professional hockey, he must have taken thousands of shots at the net and missed thousands of times.
I can’t remember a single goal he missed. I will forever remember that double overtime goal.
I think about that goal now when I have a tough day as a parent. I know that each day, I’m doing my best for children. I love my children every single day. I’ll make mistakes. I’ll have days that I won’t be my best. I’ll have days that I won’t score the proverbial goal.
But the bad days rarely make the highlight reel, do they?