Step-dad Adventures – Dodging the Last Bullet

confessionsI have a confession to make.

It’s not something I’m proud of. Like eating the last cookie on a plate. Or paying money to see the Battleship movie.

I managed to avoid volunteering for the last tourney.

Hockey at this age seems to be largely over in early March, except for the tournaments. But these things are elaborate events that need people. Like Soylent Green needed people.

The tournaments need people to run the 50/50 draws, man the raffle tables with baskets full of goodies, and, of course, operate the dreaded score and time keeping machines.

It’s a full court press. Wait, that’s a basketball thing. It’s ah… uhm… overtime with a man down and 5 seconds left on the clock? ????

Anyway, let’s just say they really need everyone to step up.

Ah, the things parents do for their kids. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world decided to take on the raffles table. A good choice. There’s a hierarchy to these things. The raffle has to be at the top. You stand behind a table and take people’s money. I did that for years. It’s easy-peasy.

scoreboardAt the other end, is time and score keeping.

Why?

It’s hard. It’s complex. And unlike raffle-table-duty, if you make a mistake, everyone sees it. In older age groups, I’ve seen people get quite angry when the poor score keeper puts up 10 goals by mistake instead of 1.

Mad props to the people who volunteer to do that. Over the course of the year, we had two dads who did it every time. Every. Time. Wow. That’s some dedicated dads. I was proud of myself if I remembered to pack skates. Or wear pants for the 6am practices.

This time, though, I was volunteer-weary, having just come back from chaperoning The Oldest’s group at camp. So I did only what I usually do, I just dressed The Youngest in his goalie gear.

The funny thing is, I finally had figured out how to put on all his equipment properly. It figures that the last game I’d finally get it right, the pads, the skates, all the straps and laces.

Yup, I had it nailed down. I could get him ready in under 5 minutes. All that practice had finally paid off. It was almost too bad it was going to be the last time this season.

But I did my duty, got him ready and cheered him on. I confess. I should have done more. But for this tournament, it was all I could do.

One dad called it hockey-parent burnout.

I kinda get that now.

But when the other parents asked what I had done, I had to be all nimble and clever.

“So what did you get stuck with?”

Me: “Oh, I managed to avoid the scorekeeping cuz I would have probably been killed by a mob of angry moms who hated the fact their team got beat 100-2. What did you do?”

50-50“Ha, I got the 50/50 draw.”

“Oh my goodness, that’s not easy either, marching up and down the stands shouting, ‘give me your money, bitches, it’s for a good cause’. Did you have fun?”

“Someone put gum in the jar.”

“See, there’s always an asshat in the crowd. And, FYI, sorry about the gum.”

minionAh, deflection. I think I would have made a good master criminal. Or at least a mediocre henchman.

Next year, I’ll train harder, practice my 50/50 pitch and be better prepared.

Next year, I don’t want to let the team down.

******

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About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
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