Guest Post from Karen Pearson.
I started that hashtag for fun one day on Twitter, after my son’s coach skated over to the boards with a smile on his face, to let me know that I had put my 10-year-old son’s goalie pads on the wrong legs. * face palm *
Don’t get me wrong; I’m no stranger to chilly arenas and snack bar hot chocolate. We’ve got three kids who all took skating lessons and performed in those big production skating shows at the end of the year. Shows complete with dress rehearsals, lighting, music, professional photos and souvenir DVDs. Elaborate costumes ranging from Alice in Wonderland to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and my all-time favourite the adorable Penguins (perfect choice for aspiring 4-year-old skaters. Lots of shuffling, falling down, helping each other back up…still one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen!).
But hockey’s different. I’d heard stories from other parents about how hockey completely takes over your life, and if your child makes it into rep, LOOK OUT! When we signed our son up for Timbits many years ago, my husband agreed that he would be the hockey parent and handle all those details like registration deadlines, schedules, skate sharpening, equipment shopping, and shuttling to early morning practices and games. I can be counted on to make sure all the equipment is labeled (with the Hockey Combo, naturally!), show up for games and marvel at how it’s even possible for a young boy’s hockey equipment to smell THAT bad.
When my husband is out of town, with the best of intentions I bravely slip into the hockey mom role (see goalie pad mix-up above). I sit in the stands with the other hockey parents and try to casually divert the conversation when talk turns to levels, divisions and stats (Yikes, is he in blue or white this year? Which one is the middle level? Is this Atom or Pee Wee?). I can’t get that equipment in the washing machine fast enough and admit to accidentally putting the cup back in the jock backwards AND upside down. Ouch! Apparently nobody ever takes those things out when they wash the jock. Who knew?
We always wanted our son to play hockey for fun, exercise and all the benefits that come from playing a team sport. Now that he’s getting older, the pressure’s heating up and the stakes seem higher. I’m okay with my lackadaisical role and I’m pretty sure he won’t be scarred by the involvement I’ve had (or haven’t had) in his hockey years.
In fact, I think he enjoys teasing me about almost melting his new mouth guard in boiling water, hearing me yelling from the stands “Hey, no pushing!” whenever anyone gets a little rough with him on the ice…and those tricky goalie pads.
Does your child play hockey? If so, what’s YOUR hockey parenting style? How does your family manage all the sports and activities in your busy household? Ever put goalie pads on the wrong legs or something similar? I can’t be the only one, right? Right?