“I’ve got a free weekend”… said no hockey parent ever.
Free weekend? What is that? As a hockey parent you get used to waking up on the weekends earlier than you do during the work week. You actually look forward to Monday so you may “sleep in” or an 8am practice vs. the 6am practice. We all know too well the sound of the alarm going off at 4:30am and the deserted streets as we drive heavy-eyed to the rink. Other parents think we are nuts… maybe we are!
Explaining your kid’s hockey schedule to a non-hockey parent is kind of like explaining Physics to a toddler. “You get up at what time?” and “I don’t know how you do it” echoes through the air at the afternoon bus stop whenever a non-hockey parent asks about what games your kid will be playing in that weekend.
So, let me clarify a few things for the non-hockey parents out there.
Yes, practice and games can be as early as 6am. So while you are still snoozing away in your toasty and warm bed I have already awakened my kid out of a sound sleep, showered, and drove to a poorly ventilated warehouse where I will freeze my butt off for the next several hours.
I do it, or deal with the crazy schedule, because ice time is hard to get and just like any other sport kids need to practice to get better. Being a hockey parent isn’t for everyone. I know dozens of parents who have given up on having their child play hockey because their priorities are not the same as mine. Hockey doesn’t have to be for the strongest, biggest and most talented athletes. It does however require a highly committed family and a hard working child.
Yes, the sport is expensive. Between league fees, uniforms, tournaments, and equipment a parent can easily blow thousands of dollars for their child to play. I no longer bat an eye when my son has out-grown a chest protector or has broken a stick. I just pull out the AMEX and tell myself we’ll make it work.
No, we are not crazy. We are just in a league of our own. We have embraced our child’s passion and get done what is needed to see them succeed at what they love.
So, the next time you shake your head at my crazy schedule just recall that I am doing this all for my kid.
By Cait DeStefano
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The Hockey Clan Player’s Blog is a forum written by and published by you — the players. It is an opportunity for you to tell your story to the Hockey Community. We want to hear from you too! Submit your story, your pictures and video to firstname.lastname@example.org