The Tradition of Hockey Mom vs. Son Hockey Games
Pictures of Mother-Son games from years past
_______I am a HORRIBLE hockey player. With four hockey games under my belt (three in actual hockey skates), I admittedly cannot figure out how to raise the puck, let alone how to actually accurately pass, or carry the puck through opponents, and forget about playing a position. And, after giving birth to three large babies, my hips feel like they will pop out of their sockets each time I try to accelerate on the ice. So that’s why when it was time for the “Mother –Son (or daughter – we have one girl on the team)” Annual Year-End Hockey Game last night, I got my usual butterflies knowing I would have to go out in front of the kids, and their dads, to demonstrate just how uncoordinated I really am on ice.
Don’t get me wrong, I can skate. With several years of figure skating under my belt, I can (mostly) keep up with the kids (and the moms), and can at least skate backwards like a champ. But that doesn’t really help me out there with a stick in my hand, and leaves me completely aware of a) my lack of hockey skill, and b) the tremendous amount that our kids have learned and the skill that they already possess at a very young age! (Hmmm…makes me wonder about all the yelling at kids that happens during games, would most parents be able to do any better out there?)
This year my son played Novice, the team consisting of mostly 7 and 8 year olds, and the few who had already turned 9 since January. Again this year during our annual game I was not disappointed as I witnessed firsthand the drastic improvement in their speed, their passing, and their hustle, and as I stood next to my son during a face off, I got a little bit emotional to think that it would only be another year or two until I was looking UP at him instead of down into his excited face.
As the game started I did my best to also look excited, but I was actually more fearful than anything. I had witnessed these kids develop all year and knew what they were capable of. I’m pleased to say that with the help of some actual hockey playing moms (seriously, thank God for those of you who can actually play), and a goalie dad dressed in drag (he made a LOT of saves, not sure how he could see through that long black wig) we were able to hold our own, losing by one goal in a shoot out. By the way, the feeling of all eyes on me as I was forced to bobble the puck down the ice for my pathetic shot on goal was nerve wracking…how do our kids manage to do this stuff game in and game out?
Every year we organize these mother-son/daughter hockey games for the kids citing their excitement at kicking their mom’s butts as the main reason for putting ourselves out there. And, though every year I have the same sense of dread about playing, I always come off the ice after shaking hands with the kids’ team wondering if this is the last mother-son game I’ll get to play with this child. I know that all too soon my son and his teammates will tower over most of us moms, skating in circles around us, and possibly hurting us with their physicality (and their shots). Truthfully, I think this is the last year that we’ll be able to stay anywhere close to them in a game, with or without a goalie dad dressed in drag.
Perhaps it’s because I know the end for this type of game is near, because after this year, I can honestly say that until my son and his friends no longer find it fun, I’m in 100% for these mother-son games. I’ll swallow my pride and dignity and promise to not complain any more about having to take the ice, and you know what? I’ll even look forward to it. I realized last night, as I looked at my growing boy, that these games act as a gentle reminder of the fleetingness of time, of the love our kids have for the game, and the love we have for our kids. Isn’t that why we do all this hockey stuff? These mother-son hockey games are a great way to celebrate the “FUN” of hockey, and I’m betting that my son is using as a gauge for his progress each year as much as I am (as evidenced by his comment last night, “Mom, why didn’t you take the puck off me?” My response, “because by the time I caught you, you had already made a nice pass to someone else, there was no puck to take.”)
So, here’s to all you non-hockey playing Hockey Moms in Canada lacing up the skates and checking your dignity at the door for these mother-son/daughter hockey games, and here’s to all you hockey playing Hockey Moms who help keep the playing field somewhat level for the rest of us! May all Hockey Moms in Canada get to enjoy these games for just one more year.
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