It is time.
It’s mid-August and the summer days are still hot and steamy. As back-to-school advertisements flood the television and radio waves, the back-to-hockey emails are starting to flood my email Inbox. And not just the official association emails, but the official hockey mom emails too! “Does anyone know the sort-out schedule yet?” “Does anyone have a pair of size eight skates they don’t need?” “I’m looking for my kids’ helmet. Did it accidentally get dropped in your bag after the spring Father-Son game?” Yep. It is time.
About this time every year, hockey parents start pulling out the hockey gear and see what fits, what’s broken, and what’s just plain gone missing. If you’re at the arena all year round, you probably don’t even conduct this equipment exercise – you’re doing it all year. But not all the almost 500,000 tyke to midget hockey players in Canada play competitively. Many of them are recreational hockey players, just pulling their gear out of winter storage now to size it up for the new season.
If you’ve played hockey or have been a hockey parent for a few years, you pretty much know the drill. You know you need to make sure you have all the gear and that all the gear fits. Then those skates will go in for their first sharpening since April. That brand-spanking new hockey stick will be taped and the new UnderArmour laundered (since the old set had to be incinerated). I would like to remind you, however, that there are few things that may not be on your immediate hockey to-do list, but that you definitely do not want to forget. As you prepare for your upcoming hockey season, here are your hockey mom Forget-me-Nots:
1. A new travel mug for your coffee (or – er – alternate “beverage”). Out with the old and in with the new. You probably can’t even find your old travel mug. Get yourself a gleaming new travel mug.
2. Extra phone charger. You know you’re going to forget this one at the Oshawa Hilton Garden Inn at the first tournament of the year. Again.
3. Extra skate laces. Don’t live them in the kitchen “everything” drawer. Put them in your purse. Now.
4. Hockey blanket. You may have to advise the dog that his precious bed is being repurposed (or rather returned to its rightful use!). Break it to Boomer gently.
5. Hockey tape. There is nothing – and I mean nothing – that can’t be fixed with hockey tape, including some relationships.
6. Your arena gloves. Leave them in the glove compartment of your hockey mom van. Even though we’re going to have an Indian Summer (I’m calling it), it’s still going to be frigid that arena, even in September.
7. Quarters. Sure, we’re a cashless society – until you come face-to-face with an out-of-town arena parking meter, a hockey card dispenser or a vending machine. Save your quarters now.
8. Noisemakers. Your kids hate them. You love them. You love making your kids cringe. Bring it on.
Now you’re ready for the new hockey season! And guess what? Just in time. Do you have any essential hockey mom Forget-Me-Nots? Let me know in the comments!
Three cheers for the upcoming minor hockey season – and for all for the hockey moms doing their preseason checks!
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5) The Modern Age of Minor Hockey