There are hockey moms, and then there are hockey mom den moms.
Over the years, I’ve been in the change rooms of all three of my hockey-playing kids on many occasions helping them gear up (and occasionally stand up) for their games and practices. When boys reach their Peewee years, they typically do not want moms in the change room (and the feeling is mutual, believe me); however, change room attendants – or den moms – are still the norm in girls’ change rooms throughout the hockey years.
So here’s a little story – my ode to the Den Mom:
I see you. You’re one of the first to show up at the arena. You handed over your car keys in exchange for that change room key. And dammit, you were three-quarters of the way to your car afterwards before you realized you’d forgotten to get your car key back from the attendant!
I see you. Your ears and eyes are at DefCon4 but the hockey players wouldn’t know it. You know there was a big argument in the car on the way to the arena – not your business. You know someone took a photo in the dressing room – I know you’re making it your business.
I see you. You’re wearing shoes. Real shoes (or boots) not the –oh-mi-gawd-I-picked-up-these-strappy-little-sandle-beauties-at-Winners-for-50%-off! kind of shoes. The dressing room is a dangerous place filled with sharp objects. And I know you’re watching my goalie’s fingers while they’re putting on their equipment on the floor while the kids are running around with their skates on.
I see you. You can fill sixteen water bottles faster than he can order a beer.
I see you. Pony Tail versus Velcro? You make sure that Pony Tail wins every time. Jersey versus Shoulder Pads? No match for you. Or Aglet versus Grommet? I know you know what that's all about!
I see you. You don’t just know every player’s names. You know who likes their socks over their skates and who likes their socks tucked into their skates. You know everything.
I see you. You know young kids, for the most part, have no body image issues w h a t s o e v e r. You know this sadly cannot be said of teenage girls. You don’t comment and you don’t judge. These girls are hockey players for cryin’ out loud! You tell them – the ones who might need it the most – they’re just freakin’ awesome.
I see you. You are a wizard. You can make your number four practice jersey look like a number eighteen game jersey with your bare hands – and a little red and white hockey tape.
I see you. You can hear a Zamboni through two closed doors and three levels of concrete. You tell those kids they’ve got two minutes before the coaches come in for the pre-game chat. Skates on STAT!
I see you. You’re the one with the key. After sixteen versions of “have a great game!” you’re the one locking all those prized cell phones and American Eagle clothes for sixty minutes of safekeeping.
And I see you. After the sixteenth “Great game!” is uttered, you go home with your own freakin’ awesome hockey player and do it all again next weekend.
Three cheers for all the Den Moms out there this season – I see you, and you’re awesome too!
1) The New Age of Hockey Training and Development
2) Jack Hughes wins 2017 Hockey Player of the Year Award for Ontario
3) 4 Takeaways from the 2017 WHL Cup
4) Kids Share Love of Hockey with Taste of Fame at 2017 BT Hockey Classic
5) Team Canada Roster Named for 2017 Women’s Worlds