Ah, yes – team picture time. This weekend will mark the 34th time that I bring a player to some local arena hall for annual hockey team and individual pictures; it’s been t13 times for my oldest, 10 times for my middle guy and the 11th time now for my daughter.
That’s about a thousand dollars’ worth of player hockey trading cards that will never, ever be randomly dispensed in an arena hockey card machine or given out by anyone at Tim Horton’s. But I cherish them nevertheless.
The email arrives from the team manager to be at the chosen location 15 minutes ahead of schedule so that the picture orders can be processed and the team can be organized. Of course, there is no room to dress them in the picture room so you are instructed to arrive with your player fully dressed and donning skates just before picture time.
This was a relatively easy task when my kids were young but, as they hit the teenage years – not so much. Team picture day is the epitome of both organization and disorganization.
Depending on the size of your hockey organization, the photographer has dozens of teams to schedule around an already busy hockey weekend – That’s organization.
Yet it’s pretty much assured that you’ll swear up and down to your husband that the email read “wear AWAY jerseys” when in fact you were instructed to “bring the HOME jerseys”, prompting a rapid deployment of the missing jersey to the arena hall right away. That’s disorganization.
The photographer calls your team up next and carefully organizes the whole team and bench staff according to size and goalie placement. That’s organization.
Yet it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll buy a team picture, an individual picture plus a dozen wallet-sized pictures to give to all the grandparents, aunts and uncles in your annual Christmas card, and then promptly forget where you put them when the time comes to mail those Christmas cards. That’s disorganization.
It will be clear in the manager’s email what equipment is necessary and what equipment is not necessary. That’s organization.
Yet, it’s pretty much a guarantee that your kids will take their neck guard and helmet out of their hockey bag because they’re not required for the team photo and both will be still sitting in the garage as you pull out of the driveway on your way to the next practice or game. That’s disorganization.
The order form clearly identifies all your purchasing options and packages and their cost. That’s organization.
But it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll run out of the house with the order form and Visa in hand and get to the arena hall for pictures about the same time as you notice in the tiniest font known to humans that the photographer is accepting cash and cheques only. That’s disorganization.
The arena staff will be careful to ensure one strip of carpeting will be carefully laid on the catwalk to the photo shoot area, also carpeted. That’s organization.
But you know that it’s a guarantee that your kid is going to try to overtake the kid in front of him and wipe out on the slippery floor, and you just pray the domino effect is avoided. (And you’ll try to remember to sharpen their skates before the next ice time, but you know you’re going to forget!). That’s disorganization.
The smile on all their faces belies the chaos behind it!
Three cheers for team picture day! Smile and say, ‘hockey sticks!’
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