How to be a Good Ice Hockey Mom
Becoming a Hockey Mom
This is my fifth year being a Hockey Mom. To be honest, I never particularly enjoyed the game, that is, until my adorable 5 year old went out on the ice for the first time. During those heartbreaking first practices, when Ben spent more time falling down than standing up, I never would have imagined that today I can name most of the NHL teams, and actually understand what an "offside" is!
The other thing I never imagined, is that though I am not proud to admit this, I have had moments where I have truly been that red-faced, yelling creature... a Hockey Mom. Yes, most of the time I keep my comments to myself, or use a normal-volume encouraging tone to make positive statements such as "Nice try". Embarrassingly, I have also been heard to say, "Come on ref, are you blind??!!!", and other such nonsense.
My son is now 9, and myself and the other parents at the rink take our children's games as seriously as a Stanley Cup final. We grumble about the ice conditions, the state of the arena dressing rooms, and voice our opinions on pretty much any aspect of the players or the game.
Five years ago, I thought that hockey skates were ready to go right out of the box. I have now learned that they must be carefully molded to the players feet, preferably in a special skate oven available at the hockey store. The skates must then be professionally "profiled" by our local expert (who actually has taken a legitimate course in this skill!). The profile is determined by the player's position, and skating style. This comes at a premium, add $50 for profiling on top of skates that average $150-$200. And that is just one piece of the equipment required to play!
No wonder I have become slightly fanatic - this is not just recreation, this is a serious investment!
Last year at the end of the season, Ben received a special "Crest Award" (named after the toothpaste brand) because of his trademark big smile when he's on the ice. He has come a long way since those first hesitant strides, but one thing that hasn't changed is his pure love for the game. Particularly during the dreaded try-out portion of every season, parents tend to behave as if their child will be the next Sidney Crosby. My hope however, is that I continue to see that huge smile on Ben's face as he skates by.... Hopefully the words most often heard by those in the stands around me are, "Way to go!".