The joys of ice and men, women and children

It’s 6:45 a.m. on a Sunday morning and along with several parents across the country I’m at a hockey arena.

It’s 6:45 a.m. on a Sunday morning and along with several parents across the country I’m at a hockey arena.

Our 15-year-old is playing hockey in a house tournament and I’m in charge of the scoresheet for his team’s final game.

They are vying for seventh or eighth place.

A commuter mug in hand, I’m using its coffee contents to wake me up and keep my hands warm simultaneously.

I’m wearing a hat, which is the norm for me this time of year, a warm coat and clothing, but stupidly I have left my warm boots at home.

The running shoes I’m wearing aren’t doing the trick because, yikes, it’s cold standing at ice level.

If you had known me growing up, you would never have pictured me as a hockey mom.

I’d never fit the “pit bull with lipstick,” description as one joke suggests about hockey moms.

In fact, neither my prairie-boy husband or myself, grew up with hockey.

I still don’t like fights and would never yell at mine or other children on the ice.

My husband doesn’t even skate and his mom thinks sports hamper family life.

That is because so many of her grandchildren are busy playing football, ringette, soccer and hockey.

She does go watch the games sometimes though.

In the first years of our sons playing hockey I often said we’d had a brush with insanity in our mid-40s and put two boys in hockey.

Nick had pestered us for at least four years to play and we kept putting him off.

Finally after a winter in Rupert where the ponds froze at length and we played pond hockey for days, I decided I loved it so much that he could try it out.

He was nine at the time.

I also thought because we lived in a place that didn’t have very much real winter, it would be nice for the boys to be on the ice regularly.

The year prior his younger brother had taken a dance class. His best friend’s mother did books for a dance academy and wanted her son to take dance and asked if mine would join her.

Ben enjoyed his year of dance training, but when the opportunity to enrol in hockey rolled around, and his sisters prodded him to give it a try, he hung up his jazz shoes and laced up the skates.

We did often catch him dancing on the ice that first year of hockey and had to smile.

But he wasn’t out of touch with the Prince Rupert Minor Hockey Association either. The midget rep players took dance as part of their off-ice training and did a crowd pleasing number each year at the Dance Academy of Prince Rupert’s year-end show.

Now that we’re in our 10th year of hockey parenting those first few months of struggling to dress the boys and racing back home when a piece of clothing was left behind seem so far away.

Hockey can be such a beautiful game involving skill, working as a team and getting to fly at great speed.

Hopefully the lakes and ponds freeze this winter so wobbly hockey players like me can get a stick on the ice.

Monica Lamb-Yorski is a staff writer with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.

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