The 6am Practice
I’m not my best at 5am when I have to get up to get the youngest one ready for hockey.
But some days are worse than others. Like a shuffling, drooling zombie, I gather up everything I need. Huge cup of coffee, lid on. Water bottle. Hockey stick. Big-ass bag-o-hockey equipment. Jacket.
My girlfriend, being amazing, has already gathered it all and put it in the hallway. It’s all ready to go. All I have to do is get it to the car.
Not at 5am.
I get the bag, heft it over my shoulder, grab the water bottle, coffee and go into the garage. I put it all down. I open the Rav 4’s rear door and bang it into the garage door. It makes a sound. A loud sound. Like what I imagine the sound a metal garbage can makes when from the top of a 100 story building.
For some reason, my brain does not connect that sound to me banging the car door on the garage door. All I know is that the car door did not open far enough for me to put the bag-o-hockey equipment in. So I close the door and open it, again, harder this time because clearly I didn’t yank it open hard enough last time.
The youngest, standing by the car asks, quite wisely, “Joe, why did you do that?”
I look at him. I blink twice. “I have no idea.”
“Did you know the garage door was there?
“You’d think I would.”
“The garage door is always there.”
I open the garage door, put in the bag-o-hockey equipment, and realize I’ve forgotten the stick. The youngest slides into the car while I go and get the stick. But I have two things in my hand. My coffee and the water bottle.
At 5am, this a huge intellectual dilemma.
How to I grow another hand quickly?
It takes me a good minute to realize I can’t grow a hand so I put down the water bottle. No way am I going to give up that coffee. It is my only hope of coming to life today.
I grab the stick and the coffee and go back into the garage. I stuff the stick in the car. I then stuff myself in the car. I’m just about to start the car when I realize that I’ve forgotten the water bottle. I unstart the car, a little pleased that I remembered that I left the bottle behind (my usual mode of operation is to remember as the youngest is skating onto the ice,) so I go back in to get it.
For some reason that makes me greatly fear that I have early onset Alzheimer’s, I leave my coffee behind. Why? I have no idea. Seems at this point, my brain had decided I could carry only one thing at a time.
I get back in the car, water bottle in hand, give it to the youngest, start the car, and then realize I left my coffee behind.
I know deep down that one day I’ll get to the hockey rink and realize I forgot the youngest.
So I turn off the car again and get out, go back inside, get my coffee. I cradle the 64 oz thermo-cup with non-spill lid like it was the most precious thing in the world. Then I get back in the car.
The youngest asks, wisely, “Joe, what are you doing?”
“I have no idea,” I said. “It’s 5am.”