When my son was six, my husband signed him up for Mite hockey. I was adamant at the time that this was “their thing.” I did not know anything about hockey. (Unless you count the fact that it was played on ice and watching the fights was the best part of the game.) I would go to his games, but I did not want to be tasked with getting him dressed before a game or practice.
My husband agreed to this plan for about…a day.
On the evening of his first practice, he called me in a panic.
“You will need to bring Ryan to practice.” he said. “I am stuck at work.”
“I have no idea how to get him ready.” I replied.
“Don’t worry. Someone will help you.”
So, I drove to the rink and carried my son’s equipment into the locker room. I went to the first official looking man and asked him point blank, “Can you help me?”
I must have looked pretty pathetic, because he said he would without even blinking.
Fast forward a few days to when Ryan played his first game. He could barely skate with the puck, but I was yelling and cheering like nobody’s business. I was hooked. There was no turning back now. I had officially become a Hockey Mom.
Over the next several months, I was a dedicated student of the game. I learned the rules, the lingo and when it was time for him to dress himself. (Yes, I was a originally a helicopter hockey mom!)
When Ryan switched to a select travel team, my husband and I signed on as Team Managers. Essentially, we were the “Julie McCoys” of the hockey team. We planned everything from team practice jerseys, to tournament accommodations and everything else in between. I spent more time at the rink and in my car than I did in my own home on the weekends.
I loved every minute of it.
Ryan continued to play in High School. While our travel decreased, my enthusiasm for the sport increased twofold. I would not miss a game for anything. I was thrilled when he was selected as a Captain his senior year. It meant Team Manager 2.0 for me.
Currently Ryan plays for a college about 900 miles away. I haven’t been able to watch him play a game in person in over a year and I am having major withdrawals. My only solace is looking forward to being able to go next year.
I have come to realize, you can take the Mom out of hockey. But you can not take the love away from a Hockey Mom.