Have you ever found yourself in a hockey rink shedding a tear during the national anthem? Do you frequently describe goals-scored with enthusiasm and detailed-phrases like bar down or top shelf? Do you lay your head down on your pillow at night and wonder when in the hell did I become the mom who yells at a ref over a bad call? Do you wake up to an alarm clock at 4 a.m. on a Saturday with pure excitement at the thought of the 6 a.m. game that is one hour away because YOU.LOVE.HOCKEY?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is likely that you, like me, are a hockey mom. We are a rare breed of moms who spend our weekends in down coats and Ugg Boots and we enjoy every freezing minute of it. We love watching our kids play, we embrace the cold rinks and who needs sleep when ice time is in high demand?
Are you a hockey mom? Top 5 Signs you’ve adopted this identity….
You Embrace the Stench
Only a hockey mom can fully understand the aroma that lingers from the hockey bag. You have made multiple attempts to air out the equipment, scrub it, and throw the specially formulated athletic deodorizers in the bag, but the stench remains. Your kids embrace it as a badge of honor for their hard work on the ice, and after trying every possible option, you accept that the stench isn’t going anywhere and embrace it, too.
Your Trunk is Full
From October through March, your car trunk is full of blankets, extra sticks, snacks and random pucks. The game schedule is heavy and there is just no point in packing and unpacking the essentials day after day, so you leave your car fully stocked with everything you need to survive at every rink in the state.
You Are a Rink Connoisseur
You know your rinks. You know which rinks are cold and which are warm. You know which has your favorite snack bar. You don’t like the balcony at one rink, but boy do you love the coffee! You may not like the coffee at another, but that’s okay because it has your favorite warm room. The many rinks you visit are your homes away from home.
You Bribe the Hockey Siblings with Money
When you arrive at the game, you give each of your children who aren’t playing a $5 bill for the vending machines and snack bars. They disappear for the duration of the game with the other hockey siblings and you can watch in peace. They know the snack bar lady and they also know that sometimes they’re having dinner (or breakfast, or both) at the rink.
Your Kid Has (or Wants) RollerGards
At least once every weekend, your child spies the kid who has those cool RollerGards. You know, those skate guards with wheels that cover their ice skate blades so your little Gretzky can roll around in full gear? If your kid doesn’t have them, he is begging for them. You say, sure, you can get them, then forget until next weekend when the begging begins anew. For the record, my son finally got a pair and I can say they are well worth the $60! As a bonus, he is now always first to get on the ice, meaning more spectator time for this fanatic.
You’re a Yeller
It isn’t in your nature and you may regret it the second after you open your mouth, but you yell from the stands. It doesn’t matter that your kids and the ref can’t hear you. You don’t even really know why you are yelling, but you do it-game after game- and it somehow enhances the experience of spectating. It’s part of the game and even the most-timid moms have been known to yell a come on ref! or get it in the net! The more daring hockey moms: siv, siv, siv!
Your Hockey Player Just Loves Playing
Behind every crazy hockey mom is a hockey player who just loves the sport. Our butts wouldn’t be sitting on those cold benches if it wasn’t for our children’s love of the game. We watch and we love watching because they are at their happiest on the ice. They thrive with sticks in their hands and teammates by their side. They are miserable if a game gets cancelled, and god forbid they ever get sick or hurt. They never want to miss a second of ice time.
And so, we hand our children over to the ice- to their coaches and the refs and their fifteen or so teammates. We watch them grow and learn, win and lose, cry and laugh, pass, score, and sit in the penalty box. We hand them over knowing that the lessons of each practice and game are powerful and lifelong. And we watch with cold hands and warm hearts from the sidelines as our children embrace their glory days, make memories that will last a lifetime. We are just along for the ride, even if it does start at 4 a.m. on a cold, winter morning.