My neighbours came over for dinner the other night and remarked on my new dining room accessories: two hockey jerseys hanging from the chandeliers.
“Nice touch, Astra” says one.
“Are we seriously eating dinner in here?” says another.
What gives?” they all ask in unison.
You see, though my daughter is still playing, my two boys have recently decided to hang up their goalie skates and gear ending their phenomenally successful 11-year minor hockey careers.
I struggled with how to honour this momentous occasion (beyond the impressive little happy dance I did in the privacy of our garage and long-anticipated clink! of wine glasses I shared with my husband). It was both a proud moment and a little depressing too. It was a day to both rejoice and grieve …laugh and cry.
So in keeping with a tradition well-known in many sport circles, I’ve decided to retire their jersey numbers. They’re hockey careers are done (until their initiation to the beer-leagues) and it just wouldn’t feel right to see other kids sporting their famous jersey numbers. It’s just the right thing to do.
I arranged a very special ceremony. I respectfully invited members of their hockey association executive who were not able to attend but whose touching response (“You are hereby requested to return the two jerseys to our association or face a replacement fee of $80 + HST each”) brought tears to my eyes. Members of the community also received gracious invitations to the event and though not in attendance, they were delighted to pass on their congratulations and acknowledgement of my sons’ many accomplishments. (“The outstanding credit on your skate-sharpening card will be voided at the end of the month unless used in full”). A full contingent of friends and family members were also expected (“Sorry we can’t make it – unlike you, the rest of us are still busy with hockey!”). I shed a tear or two as I proudly hoisted those two jerseys to the rafters (noting that said rafters have to be dusted since I now lack any excuse to avoid housecleaning).
It was the perfect denouement to complete their (short-lived) calling to minor hockey … and my life as a humble hockey mom (that is, until my daughter retires).
Just like Mammy said in Gone with the Goalie Pads: “I done paid for 3 sets of goalie equipment and it sho is a happy day! It sho is a happy day!”
As you can well imagine, my husband thinks I’ve gone totally crazy.
He thinks they should be hung from the ceiling in our bedroom.