I’m a Hockey Mom

I’m a mom. I’m a working mom. I’ve been a baseball mom. I’m now a football mom. But I’ve long been, and always will be, just like a Marine, a hockey mom.
When my oldest wore a helmet as a baby for his misshapen head, we sat in an Applebee’s one night. It was scary taking him out in public because people stared. But we sat him proudly in his high chair at the end of our table. A lady walked by and smiled and said, “Ahhh, look at the cute little hockey player.” We laughed about that, but never gave it a second thought. My cousin played hockey, but I couldn’t even fathom my little baby someday playing.

We used to live very close to a rink, so when he was three we decided to get him into skating lessons. We’d go watch him shuffle across the ice, falling down, just trying to get from one side to the other. After three sessions he was burnt out. We didn’t put skates on him for three more years.

When he was six he wanted to take lessons again. He was in a smaller class this time, and amazingly after three years, he stepped onto the ice and off he went. It didn’t take long before the teacher told us he could transfer to the hockey program if he was interested. He was interested all right.

The night before his first session, as I tucked him into bed, he dreamily said, “I can’t believe I’m a hockey player!”

He was timid at first. This was all new to him. All this equipment and hitting a round heavy thing with a stick. Well, doesn’t sound too much different from baseball when put that way, minus the equipment.

Derek in his first year of hockey.  2008-2009.
Derek in his first year of hockey. 2008-2009.

He loved hockey right away, and of course, when someone loves something, it’s quite infectious. It didn’t take long before little brother, then four, said, “I want to play!” We dismissed it at first as we thought he was too little, but then we saw other kids smaller than him on the ice. We decided to give him a chance. He completely blew us away. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of our hockey lives.

When I say “hockey lives,” I mean it’s our lives. Hockey is not two months long. It starts before school starts and it’s about as long as the school year.

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It takes a special kind of mom to be a hockey mom. Special in the sense of: if you are willing to drive your kids to the rink four nights a week (two kids on different teams) and you’re willing to spend your weekends either at practice or games sometimes an hour or more away, that’s a special kind of mom. And that’s house hockey. You have to be even more special to have a kid on a select team where you’ll be traveling across the state or Canada.

I’m not a very organized mom. I wish I had it all together, but I don’t. I also work outside the home in a very grueling job. I have big dreams of making a month’s worth of crock pot meals that I found on Pinterest, but the reality is we end up eating out quite a lot. Red Robin with hockey friends is the BEST!!

My house usually looks like it’s already been burglarized. It’s a great deterrent. And what is that smell coming from the kitchen? Oh, that’s just the rotten chicken packages in the garbage can. It’s a good thing I also sell Scentsy for my own personal use. I have one in every room.

There are usually two smelly hockey bags in my entryway at all times. They smell like a mixture of rotten milk and the rotten chicken in my trash. I try to put them somewhere else, but they always find their way back there. I just don’t fight it anymore.

My car is lived in. I’m here to say that there is no amount of Febreze that will help the hockey stench. If you ever drive by my house, I’m not having a yard sale. That’s just hockey gear “drying out.” And it only gets worse the older they get.

Sometimes I may show up at the rink in the morning looking like I just got out of bed. Uh, that’s because I just did. Don’t worry. I showered the night before. I rarely look my best at hockey, and I don’t care anymore. It’s a hockey game, not a fashion show.

Our weekends are hockey. Our weeknights are hockey. No, we can’t come to your non-hockey event. We have hockey. See you in April.

Derek-hockey2

I haven’t been on a vacation with my husband in five years. I remember it fondly. It was my 30th birthday in Vegas. Oh well, I get overflowing glasses of wine at the rink!

It takes a special mom to be a hockey mom. You have to be pretty selfless. I get resentful at times because I wish I had more time for myself and what I want to do. See above: “pretty selfless.”

Why do I put up with it? Well, because my kids love hockey. We love hockey because our kids love hockey. As that song says, “These are the moments…” When I became a parent, I signed up for this. As long as they are passionate about hockey, we’ll support them and be there for them along the way. And it’s not completely without benefit to us. We’ve made the best friends in hockey parents. Wonderful people who will help you get your kid to hockey (or football now) in a bind, moms who buy you peppermint tea when you have bronchitis, people we laugh and drink with on road tournaments, which are fun getaways for kids and parents! Some of my kids’ best friends are their hockey friends. It is the BEST kind of community.

There will come a day when we won’t have hockey in our lives like this anymore, and we will be looking back on it and missing these days terribly. These are the days to savor the moment with our kids.

Sean with his team last year after winning their tournament.
Sean with his team last year after winning their tournament.

I’m a hockey mom through and through. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Or when the kids move out. 🙂

Here’s to the new hockey season!

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