A Zamboni is a truck-like vehicle that melts and mends the ice in a hockey arena. It cleans and levels the rough edges of the ice, leaving a smooth surface.
I shall not soon forget The Great Hockey Weekend of 2012: Three hockey tournaments, three kids, three round robin games each = nine games MINIMUM in a 48-hour period. One weekend. One mom. To say that I was emotionally distressed about pulling this one off is an understatement. Its enormity was foretold months ago when my husband announced he was going golfing in Florida, the first weekend in February. “During hockey season?!” I screeched. “Who goes golfing during hockey season?!”
Well, apparently I know one such person.
And so I self-diagnosed myself with a new anxiety disorder known only to hockey moms: confero singularis formido (or fear of the solo tournament weekend). Look it up!
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Oh God, please don’t let this be another pre-menopausal bitch ranting about how underappreciated she is …”, because it’s not; I’m saving all that for my book! Instead, I wish to pay tribute to those who help out in a pinch (or see a stark raving mad woman in serious need of an intervention because it’s truly a fine line).
The hockey family.
The hockey family is the one connected to me and this crazy sport who is outside my immediate family – those I can count on in a pinch. Seeing as this particular pinch was more of a circulation-inhibited, full-on head lock, I needed a hockey miracle of Paul Henderson proportions to get me through. And since my husband failed to come through with a mistress who was willing to help out with the hockey driving, I called in the Reserve. My Reserve Unit consists of extended family and other hockey parents.
Over Christmas, my mother-in-law lamented that none of my kids had participated in a tournament near their home north of Toronto and she missed seeing them play. Ooooo, the Angel of Hockey Mercy hath rested her wing in the goal crease. “Well, have I got the weekend for you…” my plea began. The reinforcements, aka my in-laws, were treated to rare grandkid-hockey-fest and able to catch at least one game of each grandchild. It is entirely possible that they would have preferred to do so over a slightly longer stretch of time (i.e. maybe not 5 games in 36 hours next time) but never mind that for now. It is also entirely possible that they would have preferred to eat something other than take-out pizza and copious amounts of coffee but never mind that either. I was grateful for their ‘service’ even if it meant me changing the sheets and towels.
The hockey family.
Hockey moms often refer to other hockey moms as part of their extended family. Considering how much time you spend with them at arenas, on tournament weekends and various other social events associated with their kids’ sports schedules from August through April, they might as well be kin. The parents on my kids’ teams come from all walks of life, many of whom have chosen paths on which I wouldn’t dare walk, who wouldn’t dream of walking in my path, and who’ll walk off in different directions after the games and practices and tournaments are over. But all this past weekend, they walked beside me all the way. For every single person who offered to help with pick ups and drops offs for my three kids, I am thankful. And for every single person who asked me how I was holding up this past weekend, I am thankful! This particular weekend, I am thankful to no less than eight people who drove, fed, or housed my three kids somewhere (or did all three). Now, one could argue that such assistance is intentional because I am mother to three goalies and the team kinda needs a goalie, but that’s ok; they were still on my side. God Bless ’em!
A bolt of lightening is about to strike me dead, but when only one of my three teams advanced, I felt some disappointment for them but mostly relief for me; a fact that will likely not endear me to other hockey moms. But we all know my hockey/yoga co-dependency so I was hppy for their eliminations because they permitted my Sunday morning yoga class. The parting words of my yoga instructor on Sunday morning could not have been better scripted had she been speaking directly to me. “I hope you will take this feeling of gratitude in having devoted time well spent on yourself and extend it to those around you. Put forth an attitude of gratitude” … and with no bolt of lightening either! With post-yoga latte in one hand and a basket of dirty laundry in the other, I felt as relaxed as a mom with 90% of her ‘to-do’ list still to do, but feeling gratitude for those who’d help me get through. I looked at the dogs (because they were the only ones still interested in my company) and shared a happy thought, “Hey! We made it!” which was immediately followed by a not-so-happy thought, “Oh my God, did anyone feed you guys this weekend?!” So sincere thanks to my hockey family for helping me out this weekend and for making my rough ice a little smoother – a Zamboni of my own indeed.
Did you ever look upon a task with so much dread, only to find joy in it through the grace of others?
A word cloud is a graphical representation of word frequency. The word hockey stands out in my word cloud (made courtesy of www.wordl.net ) and a lot of other words scattered around it… like mom, love, writing… (actually kind of surprised that the word chardonnay does not appear there – it’s gotta be there!). So this was the mother of all hockey weekends where hockey, mom, love, and a little writing, once again featured prominently… as they always do in my life.