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.

23 Responses to A hockey mom's proudest moment…

  • Best post ever! I love this idea. My husband stopped playing hockey 20 years ago or so, is it too late to hold a similar ceremony!? Thanks for the laugh Astra!

  • I loved the “touching response” from the hockey association. Touching, indeed. Tears welled in my eyes as I read it–tears of laughter, that is! Astra, you are a hoot! 🙂

  • Astra, no one makes me laugh like you do! I’m with Monica, the reply from the hockey association–priceless! I think you should frame those bad boys, along with a “You Owe Me” receipt signed by each of your boys. Hey, a woman’s gotta get her wine money any way she can, am I right? ha! 🙂

  • You are too funny! I love the outpouring of support and emotion from the association and community, you must have been overwhelmed by the love. I hope this means you’ll have a little more Astra time ( don’t spend it dusting the rafters!). Great post!

  • I love the idea. Great way to signal the end of their minor league hockey career. The response from your association and community is hilarious. Too bad they couldn’t attend! So, now that you only have one child’s hockey games to attend, what are you going to do with all that extra time?

    • The boys are already filling that ‘extra time’ with other activities but hope to have a rough draft of my hockey momoir done by Christmas 🙂
      Thanks for reading along!

  • Too funny, Astra!! I’d love to be a regular dinner guest in your home, always wondering what might be hanging from your chandeliers the next time I show up.

  • Any time I am up your way, if i bring the case of wine, will you enthrall me with tales? You always make me laugh.

  • Congratulations of this post and the retirement news!

    “…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. ”

    KILLER! You are so dry and delightful. Your new freedom best be spent writing more.

  • Woot woot!! What a hoot! I love that threat from the skate sharpening business.with thinly veiled we-will-go-out-of-business-without-your-business note of terror behind it. Think of how many miles longer your tires, your car/van/bus – and you – will last. And that money can be put toward wine to be imbibed while dusting those foreign corners.

    Maybe you can actually sit down more frequently. In your home! On your sofa!

    • I agree Eloise! I’m dusting the foreign corners of my WIP but I do somehow feel a little guilty still with extra time on my hands. To add to my free time, our local teachers have decided to step back from ALL extracurricular activities in protest of a recent provincial bill passed, so I have no school sports to run around for either!! Yikes, dare I say it? This is living!!

  • Ha Ha! I loved this post. Although hockey was the sport of my Canadian youth, with my own kids it was the retiring of the dance team outfits, the judo suits, the band flute and other assorted endeavors and passions of their youth. I cheered as I mourned the passing of an era in our lives. On to new adventures in your family.

  • Hahahaha!!!! Love the last line. Well, happy retirement to your boys. May the memory of their minor days live on forever in your dining room!

  • Very entertaining blog! Maybe you could take a look at my blog about teenagers ( http://lifeofteenagersnow.wordpress.com/ ) Maybe the answer to your teenager troubles!

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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