- Crazy Hockey Momma
Crazy Hockey Momma
By Didi Gorman
It’s the children’s league hockey practice today.
I accompany my 11-year-old son to the changing room and help him attach his helmet and tie on his skates. Then I head to the arena to find a good spot at the sidelines.
The young players should be skating into the arena at any minute. Oh, there he is! Wearing a black helmet with a large yellow sticker bearing his name, and holding a hockey stick with a matching yellow sticker wrapped around its middle (this is how I can tell him apart from all the other kids).
I wave at him and blow a kiss in his direction.
Aww. I’m misting up a bit, to tell you the truth. The poor thing sprained an ankle earlier this morning but wouldn’t miss hockey practice for anything in the world. It’s for this reason that I holler various encouragements whenever he’s skating by: “Good job!” “You can do it!” “Smart move!”
And you’d think the pain in his ankle would slow him down, wouldn’t you? Imagine my surprise, then, when he seizes the puck and charges towards the other side of the arena, swift and agile like an arrow. Wow. I didn’t realize hockey had such healing powers.
“Go! Go! Go!” I yell as he zooms past.
He dashes right past several other players, dodges the goalie, lifts up his stick and smacks the puck.
This is real. This is happening. He’s doing it. I hold my breath.
Yes! Ohmygosh! Ohmygosh! He did it!
I’m so proud of him I can barely contain it! I storm into the rink, tumbling twice, but I don’t care.
I make it through to him and clasp him by the helmet. I smooch the top of his helmet right on the yellow sticker, and I peer into the visor to tell him how proud I am of him. His big brown eyes meet mine.
Wait a minute.
Did I just say ‘his big BROWN eyes’?
That can’t be right. As far as I know, my son’s eyes are blue!
I look into the visor again. I’ve never seen these eyes before. I look at the helmet. It sure is the right helmet with my son’s name on the yellow sticker. The hockey stick is the right one too, but I have no clue who this child is.
What’s going on? And why is my real son now standing in the bleachers, rolling his aforementioned blue eyes at me?
I let go of the horror-stricken brown-eyed child and rush back to the bleachers.
Turns out, the pain in my son’s ankle worsened right after I left the changing room and he decided not to play after all. He then gave his helmet and his stick to another child who had just come today for a tryout.
And so it came to be that a promising, brown-eyed, young hockey star’s future career was nipped in the bud just like that. The trauma of random mommas seizing his head and slurping his helmet has put him off professional sports forever.
Who could blame him?