Penny is 10 years old and has been playing hockey since she was 6. For four whole years, she’s been going to the ice rink for practice, games, free skate and every single one of her birthday parties. She LOVES hockey!
What she doesn’t love is when she has super early games and has to wake up before the sun comes up. Even though she’s so excited to play games, she always feels annoyed when she has to get up that early. Today was one of those days.
Her game is scheduled at 6:30 AM so she has to be up at 5:30 AM so she can eat, get dressed, brush her teeth and ride to the game. It’s cold and dark but she makes it through and gets to the rink.
When she walks down to the locker room, she sees Mr. Snow who is the nice rink man who works a lot of different jobs at the rink.
“Hi, Penny!” says Mr. Snow in an energetic voice.
“Hi, Mr. Snow,” Penny groans.
“What’s wrong kiddo?” asks Mr. Snow.
“It’s just so early and I’m cold and sleepy!” whines Penny.
“Hmmm, well it might be early for you but I’ve been here since 4 AM, so I guess it doesn’t feel that early to me!”
“You’ve been here since 4??? What were you doing that early!?” cries Penny.
“Well, when you kids have early games, I need to get here and zamboni the ice so it’s nice and smooth for you. I also clean the bathrooms so those are spotless when you get here,” says Mr. Snow.
“Really? That’s super nice of you. I’m sorry I complained,” says Penny.
“That’s ok, Penny! It’s all part of the job!”
Mr. Snow smiles and walks away. Penny just stands still and thinks to herself, ”Wow, I didn’t realize that what I have around me is possible because of the hard work of other people! I need to make sure to say thank you to everyone!”
Penny gets dressed for her game and hops onto the ice. During warmups, she skates over to the penalty box and leans toward the crack in the glass.
“Thank you so much for getting up early and score keeping today!” she says to the scorekeeper. The scorekeeper smiled and says, “You are so welcome! Have fun today!”
After the game Penny thinks to herself, “if we didn’t have refs, we wouldn’t be able to play.” So she skates over to the refs and says,“Thank you for being our refs today! We couldn’t have played without you!”
The refs both looked surprised and say, “Wow! We don’t hear that very often. Thank you, Penny! That means a lot!”
In the locker room, the coaches give their speech and tell Penny’s team good job. As soon as they finish and start to walk out, Penny exclaims, “Coaches, wait! I want to say thank you so much for being great and teaching us during games and practices!”
The coaches give her a high five and say, “You rock Penny! Thanks for always working hard for us!”
As Penny gets ready to leave the rink, she sees Mr. Snow and runs up and gives him a big hug.
“Mr. Snow,” she says, “I think you’re really great and thank you so much for working so hard to make this rink so amazing!”
Mr. Snow grins. “Penny, you have no idea how much a thank you means to me. Please keep thanking as many people in your life as you can. It will make such a difference in this world.”
Penny waves goodbye and gets in the car. She quickly realizes she has more people to thank!
“Hey guys, thank you so much for taking me to the rink all the time and cleaning my gear and paying for hockey! You guys are the best!”
Penny’s parents look at each other, smile from ear to ear and say, “Penny, we will always be here for you and thank you for letting us love you so much. Just keep having fun and working hard and we will be right by your side!”
Penny closes her eyes and thinks about all of the people she wants to thank at school on Monday and can barely hold in her excitement. She thinks to herself, “Thanking people not only makes other people feel good but it makes me feel good too. I think I’ll do it more often!”