Of all the wonderful things a hockey mom does day in and day out, it’s safe to say that “driving” probably tops the list. I don’t even want to think about the amount of time I have spent in a car driving to or from a hockey arena. How much money have I spent on gas and CAA memberships? How many times have I gotten lost because “guidance cannot be provided in this area”? How many times have I had my toes on the bumper in the fifty dollar lane doing my best to avoid all the town clowns giving out driving awards? (Because I’m practically fluent in CB radio slang now, you know)!
Now that our hockey season is over (and since my boys started driving themselves to hockey practices and games), I really do miss some of that car time with my kids. Oh sure, there are car rides I could do without – like the ones where three other teenagers and their equipment are in the car and no one has showered. And I can take a pass on any more car rides where the rap music is so loud the windows (and my eardrums) were vibrating. I could also skip those car rides when my kids are in a foul mood and decide to summarize all my shortcomings where hockey statistics and predictions are concerned. Then again, I am pretty sure my kids could do without those rides during which I listened to audiobooks and podcasts to and from the four-hour drive to hockey tournaments in Toronto or decide it’s a great afternoon for ABBA’s Greatest Hits. And we can all do without those treacherous car rides in pitch darkness during blinding snowstorms. Without question, hockey and cars go hand in hand.
Yet any hockey mom will tell you she cherishes those car rides where her kids excitedly rehash their awesome moves in a hockey game or proudly wear their ‘hardest worker’ hard hat all the way home. She’ll laugh about all the times kids sang along to their favourite songs on the radio. She’ll reminisce about those sensitive car rides when she soothed her players after a particularly devastating loss or unexpected release from a much sought-after competitive team. She’ll remember those painfully quiet car rides where anger or frustration simmers under the hood due to adolescent sassiness, procrastination, or failure to pack a necessary piece of equipment that now requires an unanticipated outlay of cash. She can’t forget those car rides that were delayed while Slushies were prepared at the canteen or detoured to Tim Horton’s for impromptu celebrations.
I can’t begin to imagine how many of my kids’ challenges and mysteries in life were solved during a hockey car ride. I know the day is coming soon where car rides to and from the arena are over forever and I’ll have to find alternative means of finding out what’s going on in my kids’ lives. Maybe I’ll persuade them back to the family dinner table!
They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say it takes a village and a car ride to hockey!
Three cheers for hockey vans – and all the hockey moms that drive them!
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