It’s early morning. Still dark outside. And the routine you know all too well has begun for another season. As you stretch and think about which Tim Hortons you’re going to hit on the way, a little voice in the darkness asks mid-yawn… “Is it time to go now?”
Hockey season is here. And if your household is anything like mine, you spend a fair amount of time at the rink during the Fall and Winter. You’re what they call a “Proud Hockey Parent”. And if you’re anything like me…you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Don’t get me wrong, having a child in minor hockey isn’t all hat tricks and fist bumps! It definitely requires a certain amount of patience, time, and dedication. And let’s not even get started on the cost! (You want HOW MUCH for a pair of gloves my child will grow out of next week?!?) Hockey is many things, but if you ask me…it’s all worth it.
It’s early morning practices with Timmies in one hand, and a stick that needs to be re-taped in the other.
It’s stinky equipment, chewed up mouth guards, and broken laces.
It’s finding out their skates no longer fit them halfway through the season, and then cheering when you score well-loved hand-me downs from your nephew.
It’s high fives, loud hockey parents, and even louder grandparents.
It’s helping your child overcome fears, wiping their tears, and of course…excited cheers!
It’s watching their self-esteem get better, their skating get faster, and their smiles get wider.
Minor hockey is about so much more than just the game itself. It’s about giving kids the opportunity to play a sport they can enjoy for life. It’s about building confidence and friendships. It’s about learning teamwork and what it means to be a part of something.
It’s amazing to watch these kids at such a young age playing as a team, having fun regardless of the scoreboard, and giving each other hugs and high fives after the game. It’s heartwarming, and it fills you with so much pride.
I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about minor hockey that brings kids – and parents – together. When you find yourself smiling from ear to ear and feel your eyes well up because you just watched a kid – that’s not even YOURS – score their first goal EVER…you know there’s something special about the sport. But that’s what minor hockey does. And that’s just one of the many reasons we do it, why we’ll continue to do it, and why we love it. (Maybe even more than the kids do!)
Whether we’re the parent of a future NHLer, or the parent of a kid who simply grows up loving the game, we all still have one thing in common – we’re proud of our children no matter what.
So, keep on being that face they see in the stands smiling at them, cheering them on, and giving them two thumbs up! Keep on being that ridiculously ‘Proud Hockey Parent’.
Because that’s exactly what our children need.