For 6 months of the year we hang out, camp, do stuff that doesn't involve 6 am alarms, in a freezing cold car with 2 inches of ice on the windshield.. Why do we do this? Because With the onset of Winter, the equinox, the snow, ice and freezing rigid temperatures comes HOCKEY! Minor Hockey the game of dreams, pride and excitment. EH!
Well you have to be up, out the door and in the arena by at least 630 am on a Saturday and Sunday mornings,We done our winter parkas, mittnes, hats, bum blankies in order to have our precious cargo.. complain, I'm cold, I'm tired, my feet hurt, i lost my skate, my skate swill hurt my feet,my glove is missing, my jock is itchy..
Until you make that drive to the arena with the lost skate and glove , that is when the adrenaline starts to pump, the precious cargo starts to focus.. forgetting his jock is itchy, his skates will hurt his feet.With stick and bag in hand they head in to the dressing room where they are meet by other peoples precious cargo. Whom, I'm sure were saying the exact same lines all the way there. The change room is full of voices, anticipating that great goal, the awesome pass and victory... The sweet taste of victory is on every single mind in the room. Player and Parent alike.
Once they are on the ice, you watch, you yell your fool head off HUSTLE, PASS, AWESOME SHOT! OH COME ON!!! ( Usually when the ref calls a bad shot!) You jump out of your seat cheering, yelling
YOU ARE PROUD! You are proud when that new kid on the team scored their first goal of the season, your proud when you see them passing effortlessly, when the defence worked hard to protect the net. Your proud of the assist, goal or just effort your precious cargo has put out for that game. Your proud because win or lose they show respect and good will towards their team and opponents, they played a honest, fair game of hockey. Win or Lose your proud of the memories your precious cargo will have for the rest of their life! The life long friends they have made, the team spirit but most of all how wonderful it is to watch a Minor hockey game and know that this is as good as it gets!
End of a game you never know what will happen but a few things are certain. There is the handshake, a possible dog pile on the goalie, alot of head banging, helmet grabbing and pats on the back.. Good Game Team! Great Job You did great! Words every player needs to hear! and many smiling parents.
Then its waiting.. waiting while your precious cargo and their teammates throw huge balls of hockey tape around the dressing room, watching the coaches duck out of the way of swinging sticks and flying objects, ...Then you hear the coach discusses the win or loss , They cheer, they holler they yell and hoot. Then they slowly disperse with great memories and many tales of the best game this year! ( at least until next week!)
General Rule of Thumb in our house is the Positive points can be discussed as much as possible.. Anything negative does not leave the parking lot. Once we hit the exit its over!
Then the trip home, This is the time you hear all the things that the coach told the kids, and all the gossip from the bench, which lines were the strongest, who had the best goal, what how amazing this player was, how funny it was when this player did this.. AND lastly my all time favorite line My jock didn't itch ! What a game.. Then there is that exuberant sigh... A signal of a job well done and time well spent.
Lastly, there is the most important stop after each game. TIM HORTON'S Hot Chocolate ALL AROUND!!!. ( Now it does not matter if your 25 kms from the nearest Timmy's and your house is 3 blocks from the arena YOU STILL STOP!)
To All the parents who get up at 545 am to get their precious cargo to a cold icy arena on a blistery cold winter morning, to the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and anyone else in the stands cheering, to the players and coaches, assistant coaches and trainers. The organizers But most of all to the pioneers who helped us have a great sport I tip my hat to you for a job well done! AND Who knows, MAYBE some of our precious cargo could be the next Bobby Hull, Wayne Gretzky or Tim Horton!
Keep your stick on the ice, Victory isn't just winning, its playing fair, having fun and loving what your doing!! See ya at the rink!