There are two things a hockey mom is not often seen without: one is her cup of coffee and the other is her hockey blanket. She is so done with that coffee before the game even starts, but the hockey blanket? Now that is a long-term relationship.
I should know. I’m one of those hockey moms who has been in a long-term relationship with her hockey blanket. I remember I first introduced my hockey blanket to the rest of the hockey moms on the team like it was yesterday. “See this? I got it at Walmart for ten bucks! I swear!” and with that, they all happily and unconditionally accepted my new hockey blanket into their hearts – and occasionally their bottoms too.
We’ve been together for about ten years now, my hockey blanket and I. We’ve had our ups and downs, I can’t lie. We’ve had issues with neglect, like the time the blanket almost left me for good after being forgotten at an arena in the GTA (my kid got injured, sorry. I had other more important things on my mind that just my hockey blanket) or the off-season summer months when I barely even look acknowledge its presence (we both just wanted to be single for the summer). And we simply don’t mention the time I left my blanket in the car because I secretly coveted my friend’s Eddie Bauer down blanket.
There were things I didn’t always see eye to eye on with my hockey blanket. I mean, it didn’t always match my winter coat or my handbag, and occasionally people insisted I share it with them, but somehow we got through these rough patches and stayed together through the years. I watched other hockey moms change their hockey blankets like they changed their hairstyles but not me. I loved my hockey blanket.
And now it seems this relationship is getting complicated. It’s not the blanket, it’s me. I only have one child left in hockey and so many of the arenas we frequent are blasting their heaters that I just don’t need it anymore. I mean I still love it but more and more these days I find we do things separately. And I have to tell you, after ten years, it’s wearing a little thin. I know my hockey blanket is feeling like it needs a break from me too. The other day I found our dog sleeping with it! I think that was the last straw. Let’s not call it a divorce, let’s call it a conscious uncoupling. And let’s face it; I could use a younger one.
Still, I have no regrets and I’m glad for all our years together. We raised three beautiful hockey players together and got lost together on many less-travelled roads. I’m ready to move on and judging from the looks of my dog and the blanket, I think they are too.
It’s game over, hockey blanket. Thank you for playing. I hope we can still be friends.
Three cheers for our hockey blankets – even if we don’t all live happily ever after!
– this post first appeared in my weekly HockeyNow Mom Mondays column.