Not so long ago, hockey was pretty much a year-round thing in our household, save for perhaps the month of July. All three of my children played hockey, and then some played spring hockey, and then some did spring 4-on-4 leagues, and then some went to summer hockey camps, and then some went to late summer try-outs. I exhaled deeply in July and sucked in my breath again around mid-August. After about 11 seasons of minor hockey, my boys decided to hang up their goalie skates. Gone for them are the try-outs, the hockey camps, the spring 4-on-4, the spring hockey leagues and the winter hockey league. Now, it’s just my daughter playing the regular hockey season and some spring 4-on-4. Sigh.
As you can imagine, the question I get asked an awful lot these days is, “What are you doing with all your free time?”
It’s a fair question. When you suddenly regain 15+ hours a week from your schedule of driving to various arenas every week, standing around, eating shrivelled hot dogs, freezing your butt off and laundering putrid UnderArmour, you would think by now that I’ve mastered a new language or learned to play the oboe or something. Sadly, I have not.
“I’m enjoying my Transition Year” is what I tell people. I need to properly ease into the years ahead alternating between short bouts of productivity and prolonged bouts of profound laziness, to which I feel entitled. I actually feel hypocritical now when another exasperated hockey mom bemoans her crazy hockey week to me and I answer, “Tell me about it!” because, really, what do I have to tell?
The extra free time aside, I am already worried that I’m losing some of those indispensable talents I’ve acquired during my hockey mom years.
I noticed for instance that it’s getting tougher and tougher to fake a good headache on a Saturday night (I think my husband thought I would have more free time too). Perhaps I should incorporate phrases like ‘fortuitous bounce’ or ‘puck luck’ into my pillow talk just to make me feel like I’m still in the game.
I also noticed that I can no longer nose my car into that tight parking spot right between two massive Ford F150s. And those calories I burned clambering out of the back hatch because I can’t open either the driver’s side door or the passenger door? There is no other cardio exercise that can be as easily combined with such a worthy photo op.
Just last weekend, I totally forgot to pack my travel wine glass for a weekend away. A shameful and unforgettable lack of preparation. Every woman needs a good travel goblet.
I’m also worried that I am losing my aptitude to pee standing up. An astonishing skill cultivated from years of drinking copious amounts of coffee and then having to deal with a grimy arena washroom. I cringe when I think what will happen when I am next confronted with a repulsive gas station restroom or a pit toilet.
Most of all though, of all the household uses for hockey tape, I hope I never lose sight of the fact that in can be used to wrap the frayed edges of a skate lace that has lost its aglet so that it can easily fit through the grommet again. I know, right? That one’s going on my resume!
And what’s going to happen to my alcohol tolerance? I’m ashamed to admit that just last night, I felt tipsy after only two shots of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. Talk about a wuss!
I never thought I would say this, but can you tell I miss hockey? I think I need an intervention.