It’s official: I’m now a Sports Mom — a Hockey Mom, to be exact. For may years, I was certain my boys weren’t going to get into sports (which was totally ok by me), but here I am. E’s passion for hockey is awesome. But I have a lot to learn! For any other new Sports Moms out there, anyone gearing up for spring try-outs, anyone about to head out to watch a tournament — here are my tips so far: Hockey Mom 101 from this Girly-girl Mother of Boys:
No cutesy names or cutesy comments
When E skates toward the goal, there’s a part of me that swells with pride/; that’s my baby. My baby! I grew that boy in my belly, and now he’s out there on ice skates! Skating! On ice!!! Pretty amazing.
But that doesn’t give me permission, apparently, to shout out “That’s my baby!'” during a game. (Apparently.)
At last week’s game, I gave E a quick “good luck” before he went to the bench with his team. But it came out as “Good luck, Doodles.” Yeah, that was quickly followed by “Mom, can you not call me Doodles?” I should have expected that. And the weirdest thing of all was that I had actually never called him Doodles before. Got it. No names. Just “Hey, good luck and have fun” from now on. Yep, that’s right. I’m a cool hockey mom.
Oh yeah, and definitely don’t mention how the blue shirt your kid is wearing under his jersey matches so well with the blue in the flag on his jersey. But DO call it a jersey. It’s not an outfit. I learned that fast.
I break a sweat tying hockey skates, and I publicly admit it. And I need some seriously stronger hand muscles to fasten the helmet.
But I’m getting great conditioning running around the house to get everyone ready for early-morning games, and carrying the hockey bag, stick, jerseys and water bottle when E says he needs help.
Climbing bleachers and shivering in cold rinks seems to be burning some calories, too, not to mention the adrenaline from watching these kids do their best and have fun out there.
Seriously — hockey is tiring. For all of us.
Master the pom pom hat
Ice rinks tend to be cold, so make sure you are prepared. I started bringing my cute pom pom hat along with a coat and gloves, of course. I love my hat! And I love seeing all the other hockey moms in theirs, too. What I haven’t mastered yet, though, is how to choose a hat with a pom pom reasonably proportionate to the size of my head. And more importantly, how it is at all possible to cozy up in this hat during the early morning game, and not have static hat-head for the rest of the day. Hey, hockey moms — any advice for me on this? If not, I’ll just keep wearing the hat all day (yes, neighbors, that explains why you see me in the grocery store with it on. There’s major hat-head under there.)
Learn the game
SKATE! HUSTLE! GET IT! SHOOT! PASS IT! I shout it all out excitedly while I’m watching the game. But just as I’m shouting “nice play” to another kid on the team, I hear his dad shout next to me, “you’re completely out of position!” Hmmmm. It looked good to me.
I grew up watching hockey, so I generally get it, But I never really paid as much attention to the actual strategy in the game as I am now. It’s fun to really get it. So dive in and watch and learn. I have no choice, since E recently got a hockey white board and is constantly drawing plays for me and quizzing me on where the players should move next.
Embrace the cup
YES, I’m a Mother of Boys (M.O.B.). YES, I am familiar with the very important piece of equipment called “the cup.” YES, I learned the hard way that when you remove that plastic piece from its nylon holder to put it in the washing machine, it’s not ideal to put it back in the garment upside down.
But NO, I’m not talking about THAT CUP!!!
And despite my son’s absolute excitement and ambition in hockey, I’m also not talking about the Stanley Cup.
I mean the cup you will want to hold in your hands in the freezing cold rink. Whether it’s coffee, hot chocolate, or tea, I highly recommend something warm and delicious. And if you have a young hockey player, you probably have practice and games at crazy hours early in the morning, so I recommend caffeine, of course. Sometimes a bottle of water is a nice change. And while I haven’t done so myself, I have known other hockey moms who happen to put a little splash of liquor in their cup. Whatever suits you!
(that’s my trusted go-to travel mug)
Support the passion
When E came home from school one day all of a sudden wanting to play hockey, he also wanted to watch hockey, and read about hockey, and talk and talk and talk about hockey. So we slowly but surely ended up with lots of hockey paraphernalia to support the passion. Here’s a list of some of our favorite stuff — be sure to check it out and tell me your favorites, too! I admit some of the books, especially the “Kids Book of Hockey . . .” was super-helpful in reminding me of the basics of the game. [click the links below to check out our favorites!]
FUN FICTION BOOKS:
HOCKEY TOYS AND GAMES:
Air it out
Be strong, hockey moms. Those locker rooms smell. But not as bad as the sweaty equipment. Even if your kid is tired when he gets home from a game or practice, get him in the habit of immediately emptying the hockey bag and airing that stuff out! Ideally, not in the family room — we learned that quickly.
TELL ME YOUR TIPS FOR HOCKEY MOMS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still have a lot to learn!
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