Hockey Season Starts Again
Well, we’re just about to head off to our first hockey practice of the year. It’s H4, the last year when all this is still taken only kind-of seriously. Skates have been sharpened. The sweaty gear has been aired out. The Youngest has his goalie gear (borrowed from the LMHA).
We’re good to go. The Youngest is super excited.
And this time, I’ll be way more able to do what I gotta do.
So let’s take a look back to my last year as hockey parent.
- Managed to put the skates on the wrong feet. Easy enough to do, really, for a noob, but still super embarrassing.
- Drove him to the wrong rink for a practice. I want to blame the early time or lack of sleep, but it was just a complete brain fart. It’s why I arrive early for nearly everything; there’s a 50/50 chance that I’ll have forgotten something, got the wrong place or left the kid behind.
- Bought about 30 water bottles. I don’t know why that’s the item I always forget to grab when I’m rushing out, but there it is. I think the rinks make their yearly sales profit off of bottles bought at the last moment. I suspect one rink did just that from me.
- Cheered for the wrong team. Again, kinda easy to do. Hey, they’re all pretty small, kinda cute and if both teams show up in black, I’ll root for the kids who are scoring the most goals. It also helps if I sit at the right rink. (Hey, there’s sometimes more than one!)
- I learned how to tie on goalie gear. I never played ice hockey, so this was all new. Oh sure I played a ton of street hockey, but back in my day, we had cardboard taped to our legs and a phone book strapped to our chest and only people from Langford wore masks. So, figuring out how to tie the skates to pads, which pad went on which leg, what the hell those extra pads did that just sat at the bottom of the bag looking like they really should be somewhere…it was all new to me.
- I tried to say hi to all the parents, but one guy just didn’t seem to like me, which I personally think is impossible. So, every morning I’d say, “Hi, Mike,” and he’d glare at me. I’d wave at him when we left. “See you later, Mike.” He’d just wave and glare. Turns out, his name was not Mike. This year I’ll go back to my tried and true, “hey buddy!”
- I learned never to rely on a 7 year old to tell you that he’s brought everything. Assume the exact opposite. “You have your jersey on?” “Yup.” “Errr, no you don’t, you have on your spiderman PJs.” “Oh, yeah.”
- There are videos for everything. If you need to look up how to tie skates (yes, I needed to know if I was doing THAT right), there’s a video. If you need to see how to clap like a Russian, well, there’s a video for that, though it features a half naked girl for some reason that only the internet understands. If you need to know what type of helmet is the best, yup, there’s something on youtube. Failing that, you could always ask. I did that a lot since taking out my laptop and typing queries into it while in the change-room might have seemed a little odd.
- I saw a lot of terrible parents, mostly at a higher level. You know, the ones who shout at their kids, scream at the ref, seem angry all the time. I could never understand that. We were lucky to have a great group at our level, not only on our team, but on the other teams as well. I saw only 1 parent lose it like he was a 2 year old having his ring pop taken away. But that was it. God help me if that’s me one day. I hope someone tells me if it ever is. “Joe, man, chill the f* out. It’s only kid’s hockey. Here’s a ring pop.”
- Coffee is absolutely vital to any early morning practice. If I forget it, all of 1-9 will happen. ALL.
I think the Youngest is wondering the same thing.