Hockey Moms


I’m sure you’ve heard Sarah Palin’s quote about hockey moms: “They say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull – lipstick.” I’ve never really completely agreed with that. Hockey moms are so much more. They are tough, dedicated, hardworking, caring, and they have the gumption to help their child to succeed in the fast-paced world of hockey.

I was a hockey mom for many years. It’s been said that hockey isn’t just a game, it’s a lifestyle, and I found that to be very true when both of my sons got bitten by the hockey bug. My son Jeff, was very involved in youth hockey, playing in tournaments around the state and in Canada. My son, Matt, played hockey in high school. For a while, they both played on the same team.

When you’re a hockey mom, you get very little sleep, especially when you have two hockey players in the family. They practice several times a week, often as early as 4am and as late as 10pm (depending on when ice time is available). There are a couple of games each week, not to mention tournaments. There is a lot (I mean a LOT) of equipment to buy, and you also have to get used to some very smelly hockey gear piled up in back of your vehicle when it’s your turn to drive the boys to practice.

My poor daughter, Melissa, grew up in a hockey rink watching her brothers play. Most of the time, she could be found outside the rink, playing Pac Man with the other younger siblings. She complained just a little one year, when she had to celebrate her birthday with the team as they were playing in a tournament in Canada on her special day. Oh, did I mention that hockey rinks are cold? Very, very cold. Piece of advice: do not sit in front of the hockey fan who clangs the cowbell whenever a player scores a goal.

Now, my daughter who spent so much time at the hockey rink while she was growing up, is a hockey mom, herself. My grandson, Mack, followed in his uncles’ footsteps and was bitten by the hockey bug – he’s been playing youth hockey in Bay City for the last three years. A few years ago, Mack’s Uncle Matt and his daughter Gianna came home for Christmas, and he took all of the cousins skating at Flint Iceland Arena. Mack was passionate about skating and wanted to play hockey, which was a little too expensive for his mom at the time. So, Matt took his nephew shopping and bought Mack some skates and all the necessary hockey equipment, making his dream come true.

The best part about being on any youth sports team is that your child learns discipline and how to be a team player, not to mention having a lot of fun. The absolute best part about it is the opportunity for friendships – not just between the players, but the parents, as well. The team spends so much time together, you can be close friends with the other hockey parents and all scream and cheer the team on together.

So now, I’m a hockey grandma. And I enjoy that so much more! No more waking up at 4am to get the boys to practice. I just get to go to the games, cheer Mack on and proudly say, “That’s my grandson.”


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