I find myself continually wanting to blog about hockey, and then feeling like I shouldn't because I just blogged about hockey last week.
But then I find that I have nothing else to talk about, which is why there have been 3 blog posts this month, and it's already the 25th. Well, once Christmas has passed, my life is full of work and hockey. And so, I will write about hockey.
My brother sent me THIS article this morning from the newspaper, written by a local hockey mom. This could have been written by me, or any of the other 8 million hockey moms that I know. So, so typical. Exactly how my life has been for the past nine years.
I remember Andy's first UMD Bulldog hockey game, when he was about 5 months old. THANK GOD I don't have to haul that diaper bag with me to the games any more! He graduated from bottles and diapers, to tupperwares full of dried cereal, to a few pieces of candy that would fit in my purse, and ALWAYS having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the third period, right after play started again, and would squirm so bad you thought you'd have a puddle to clean up if you didn't get to the bathroom right now! Then it was on to soft pretzels, nachos, frozen lemonade and frozen malt cups, and now - well now I don't know what he buys because the moment we step foot into the arena, he asks for money and then is off sitting with friends somewhere and I don't see him until either there are two minutes left in the game, or he runs out of money.
When Andy was 2, we would tell him that his peas were green hockey balls so they were "cool" enough to eat. He had a lego hockey game that he used to play with for HOURS on end, all by himself. When he lost too many of the lego players that were like those little green army men, he made due with his set of Bulldog hockey player cards (like baseball cards) and use them as players in his game. He'd line them up along the sides when they were to be sitting on the bench, or line them up on the two blue lines and sing The National Anthem at the top of his lungs. I don't know what age he was when he finally realized that the actual last word of that song isn't really "BULLDOGS"! I probably don't want to know the number of times he has watched the movie Miracle, and also some game at some state tournament that the Hawks played in that we happen to have on DVD. I really can't understand why someone would want to watch the same hockey game over and over and over. Um, I think you know how the game is gonna turn out...
The woman who wrote the article above tells us to "embrace the hockey-ness" of it all. What great advice! Jump in with both feet and enjoy it! Morgan has finally gotten to that point. She has really started watching the games, and caring what the outcome is. That poor girl has spent more hours in hockey rinks than any girl should have to. The other day she was invited to a sleepover, and really had to think about if she was going to go or not because it would mean missing one of her brother's games. The sleepover did win out, but the fact that she had to debate with herself over what she wanted to do was really cool to me.
Last weekend Andy's team played in a local tournament. I wasn't sure what to expect, because I knew that there were quite a few teams coming to the tournament from the Minneapolis metro area. It's often hard for us to compete with those associations because they simply have so many more kids playing for them than we do. The skill level of an A or a B player in their organization may be very different than ours. I was pleasently surprised when we found ourselves playing in the third place game on Sunday. Let me tell you, it was one of the most memorable and exciting games of hockey that I've ever watched. The score was 0-0 at the end of regulation. #21 on our team scored the winning goal shortly into overtime. Talk about excitement! My heart was bursting with pride for that whole team. The cheering section went crazy, everyone was hugging everyone, and the team looked like they had just won the Stanley Cup.
Hockey is a game of the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows (especially for an old goalie mom like me!) but I think that's why I love being a part of it. I want so badly for those high moments for my son, and my heart breaks with his every single time a puck crosses his goal line. I can only hope that he learns something with each one that sneaks past him. Also, I hope he learned something last night after our loss when I gave him a stern talking to about slamming his Brand. New. Expensive. Goalie stick onto the ice at the final buzzer, and how his response to my stern-ness was very inappropriate. Ugh. What are you going to do though? Support him. Support the team. Celebrate the wins, learn from the losses. Try to deodorize the car. Put in your volunteer hours at the concession stand. Count your blessings for all of the friends this game has brought into your life. Look back at old pictures and realize that this is going to be over far too soon.
I am embracing all of the hockey-ness, and loving every single second of it. And so, I will blog about it.