A couple of years ago we were heading to a weekend tournament with Billy’s team. As many teams do we had put together treat bags for the players. I decided to put together a treat badge for the mothers. When doing this, I had some serious reflective moments of hockey times with my older son Mark and decided to include the below letter to hockey moms in the bag to the moms. I decided to share it here when I recently crossed paths (at the rink of course) with a mom from that team and she stopped me to tell me she has this hanging on her fridge because it touched her.
A Letter from One Hockey Mom to Another
As most of you know my oldest son (now 26) played hockey from the time he was 4 including many years with the Cyclones. He continued to play through college and now plays for a local military team. I can tell you from experience, don’t blink, don’t take any hockey moment for granted. Before you know it your son will be stepping on the ice for his last game for high school and/or as a midget and your heart will almost break. Out loud you will joke with the other parents about how much money you will save now and how much extra time you will have to get everything done. However, I know as I stood there and watched Mark take the ice that last time before he left for college it was not even bittersweet. I honestly think I felt more heartbroken then he did. I miss watching him skate.
Once that last game is over and your son moves on you will be surprised that when you drive by the rink you look at it longingly, wishing you had a reason to check out what was going on. Then one day you will actually turn in and wander in the rink, because once a crazy hockey mom always a crazy hockey mom. When you enter into that rink lobby full of bags, sticks, loose gloves and young kids shooting tape balls everywhere, hoping no one catches them, you will realize how much you miss the chaos. That wall of hockey smell actually does not smell that bad. You will see the lone hockey glove in the corner
knowing some player left it and it will probably end up be a funny story similar to when you drove 45 minutes to a rink to find out your son forgot his pants. How do you miss those when packing a bag? I
guess the same way Billy can show up with only one skate for practice.
As you wander into the rink to see the little ones playing it will be hard to believe your, now young man, was ever that small and needed his skates tied. You will hear the parents yelling, excited one minute on the break away and aggravated when the tide changes seconds later. You will miss that almost heart attack that comes with a close game.
I am lucky enough to have a second chance to experience this phenomenon called hockey that builds lasting friendships and amazing weekend memories. However, most importantly I get to watch Billy
excel at and enjoy a game he loves. Billy may not the best player out there, but he plays with joy and smile all the time and I love every moment of watching him skate effortlessly in a sport I can’t imagine ever mastering (even though my yelling might not seem that way). My point is, enjoy it. Enjoy the chaos, the smelliness, the aggravation of forgotten items, the wins and the losses. Know this sport teaches so much more than just the game not only to our children but also to us as mom’s. Know that once you join the ranks of “crazy hockey mom”, you are one forever.
So in the spirit of the unique personality it takes to be a hockey mom, I hope you can enjoy the bag of treats this weekend:
- The spirits to celebrate wins (hopefully), if not use it to drown your sorrows of a hard loss.
- The Rum Chata to warm you up with the FireBall or to slip into your coffee as a little pick me up.
- The double shot expresso to help you for that early morning game after a night of creating memories with the team parents.
- The hand warmers, because let’s face it, hockey is in an ice rink
- The chocolates are just a quick reminder that you are still the sweetest woman in your son’s life.
Someone once told me hockey becomes a lifestyle. They were correct, but more importantly it brings wonderful people and lasting friendships into your life like no other sport does. Enjoy the weekend!