Game days were a bit of a ritual for me. My daughter and I always met my husband at the game because my son had to be at the rink an hour earlier.......for some reason, he preferred his dad to take him. We'd stop for a hot chocolate and get to the rink just in time for puck drop. We'd scope out the best sight line to the goalie and find our spot behind the glass. If I'm being honest, I think the part I loved the most is that we were all together. My daughter was beside me, my son was on the ice doing what he loved, my husband was across the rink standing as far away from me as possible, and I was with my fellow hockey moms loving every minute of it. In my eyes that's what I called, "A good hockey day!"
I named the lesson "Enjoy the ride, the game will be over before you know it" because one of the things I enjoyed most about the hockey experience were the car rides to and from the rink. I loved those times in the car when we talked about everything and listened to music. I do need to point out that not every ride was peaceful; anyone who has done the hockey carpool knows that those rides can be fairly loud, but I loved them. If you want to know anything about your kids and their teammates, put on their favorite music and drive them around. Quite honestly there are some things I learned on those trips that I'd like to erase from my memory. Most moments had me laughing so hard that my stress from a heavy work day would go out the window along with the smell of their stinky hockey equipment.
There is a comment that hockey coach Jim Dinwoodie (North Shore Winter Club) made during his interview that has stuck with me. He said, "Just step back and enjoy it. I think everybody gets far too wrapped up with the end of the journey as opposed to the great moments that they'll share today. We look at the end and the big dream as opposed to the moments that those kids will share and remember when they are 35 years old."
I loved this quote because I agree that these kids are going to have memories that they'll remember for years to come. What Jim doesn't mention is the memories that the parents will also cherish for a lifetime. Memories of early morning practices when your young player crawled into the car with rosy cheeks and bed head, memories of the big game when they scored the winning goal or made the big save and memories of watching your child do what they love. And of course we cannot forget the relationships that we made that involve so much more that just the game. That hockey mom you met the first time your child hit the ice who is now your first call when you need to talk, the memory of all the players skating out with pink tape on their stick because one of the mom's from the team was battling breast cancer, the memories of that hockey tournament when you stayed up a bit too late playing euchre with the other parents and could barely handle the horn the next day. I could write pages of these stories but the point is this, it is a gift to be a hockey parent. It is a gift to be part of the hockey culture, this country and this sport, so "Enjoy the ride, the game will over before you know it."
By Allyson Tufts
Stay tuned for the next video in the series that covers the lesson "Play through the politics."
For more information on the Lessons From Behind the Glass
video series, please visit the BC Hockey website