The Goalie Mask

“Is that for me?” our 10-year-old, sports-crazed son asked a month before Christmas.

Sitting prominently on a shelf next to our television, teasing him, was a sparkling white goalie mask. It hadn’t been there the day before.

When you live on the western Canadian prairie, you’re never too far from a frozen sheet of ice. As a result, hockey sits immediately next to baseball in his sports pantheon. 

Since the mask wouldn’t fit my pumpkin head, his sister is the opposite of a sports fan, and his mother is afraid of anything flying in her general direction (bless her heart for putting up with our living-room football games), it was a logical conclusion for him to assume it was for him.

He eyed it from across the living room and quickly put down his snack bowl. Like a bolt of lightning, he took off toward it.

His Dorito-grease-covered fingertips were within tantalizing inches when he sensed the stink eye my wife was shooting in his direction. Stopping dead in his tracks, he looked at her.

“That’s for me,” she said.

You could hear the needle tearing a deep scratch into the record. Both my son’s and my head snapped to attention in my wife’s direction.

You could almost hear the needle tearing a deep scratch into the record. Both my son’s and my head snapped to attention in my wife’s direction. I’m not sure if my jaw or my son’s jaw hit the floor harder, faster.

Was she about to don the goalie gear for some driveway hockey? Was she going to step between the steel pipes of the hockey net? Was she ready to be pummeled with shot after shot? We were both skeptical. Jello would be nailed to the wall before my wife stepped between the pipes wearing that goalie mask.

Something clearly didn’t add up. Seeing the astonished looks on our faces as we collected our respective jaws from the floor, she explained.

My artist wife had been commissioned by a mother from our prairie suburb to transform the mask from its current black-and-silver-on-white design into one more fitting of the local minor hockey teams — blue, red, and white. 

<< Before | After >>

It was a project straight out of left field, erm, the penalty box. Despite the mixed metaphors, my wife is no stranger to odd canvas choices. She embraces the challenge. In fact, she has completed projects on bikes, acoustic tiles, and, of course, closet doors. But I don’t remember her ever taking on a canvas as oddly shaped as a goalie mask.

Alas, much to our son’s chagrin (and mine too), this goalie mask wouldn’t be played with by our family.

But I wasn’t complaining. Quite to the contrary. I love seeing goalie mask designs on NHL goalies.

So, if my artist wife could take on something like this maybe she would like it and break into that type of market. A sports-fanatic husband – and son – can dream.

<< Before | After >>

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1 Comment

  1. Donna

    WOW amazing job. Maybe she’ll do one for your birthday