I’m a hockey mom!

6 year-old ET, waiting for a pass

6 year-old ET, waiting for a pass

I spent half of today at the rink.

I’m not complaining (mainly because The Husband usually shoulders most of the duty) but, once hockey season starts, our weekends are dictated by practice times and game schedules.

When the boys were babies and toddlers, I joked that they were only allowed to get involved in activities to which they could find their own way. I really didn’t want to be one of those moms, driving a minivan with a “Mom’s taxi” bumper sticker.

Well, it’s not a minivan and there’s no bumper sticker, but between soccer, swimming, Beavers, and now hockey it sure feels like a taxi.

Today was actually a pretty easy day because both practices were at the same rink. The weekends where we have multiple ice times at rinks scattered across the city are the ones that run you ragged.

We’ve just wrapped up the pre-season tiering sessions. The boys have been running drills and playing scrimmages in front of independent evaluators who will now divvy the kids up into levels and teams.

ET is still in his early years so there is really no performance pressure. CJ, on the other hand, is in his second year of Novice and the stakes are higher.

As a first-year Novice last year, he did very well and was placed on an Intermediate team. Fortunately for us, his cousin made the same team. This made carpooling a breeze and my father was able to get them to the after school practices when I would still be at work. Thanks Dad!

Today’s tiering session was very stressful because we were in a cusp group. CJ was in the final session where the kids were teetering between Intermediate and Advancing. Most of the parents in the stands desperately wanted their child to shine and be selected for a top team. It was hard for me to watch because I wanted CJ to do well, so that he felt good about himself, but not so well that he made it onto an Advancing team.

What kind of crappy parent am I, right? Why wouldn’t I want my son to be in the top tier?

Well, first let me give you my practical reason…

Because CJ was picked for an Intermediate team last year, rather than a lower Developmental, there were A LOT of games and practices. (These extra games and practices also required extra money to pay for ice time and referees.) If CJ makes the Advancing tier, there will be even MORE extra games and practices… you can see where I’m going with this, right?

I value the little time we have outside of our children’s activities. This might make me sound like a selfish parent but, I swear, I’m also thinking of the kid. He was filled to the brim with hockey last year and I worry that more ice time would just be too much.

Now here’s the second reason, and I’m hoping it will stop the judgement…

CJ is a good little hockey player who works damn hard, but he will not be making it to the NHL. He is a strong defenceman and he certainly held his own last year, even scoring a couple of assists, but he was not amongst the best on the team.

This year, if CJ gets moved up a tier, he will once again be struggling against the bigger and stronger players. He will always be a hard-working team player… but will he have fun? I want him to enjoy the game and be proud of his performance. As his mom, this is what’s most important to me.

So, while the other parents are waiting anxiously, hoping to hear that their child has earned one of the few coveted Advancing spots, my fingers are crossed that CJ will be one of the best of the middle of the pack.

It would also be awesome if we could somehow swing it so his cousin was on the same team again. Did I mention how easy that made carpooling last year?

Do you find it hard to watch your loved ones perform?

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