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The Romance Review

Hockey Mom

 On the Road Again

I glance at the license plate on my weathered old car. It reads, Hockey Mom. “That’s me” I mumble. Then, with a sigh of recognition, I take a deep breath and I brace myself. Thinking, “Yes, it’s that time of year again.” We’ve endured the emotional ups and downs of conditioning camp, evaluations and eliminations, every kid anxiously hoping that they’d make the cut! All the anticipation, disappointments and successes; it’s all over now. The teams have been picked and we are on the road again, broke, but raring to go - I guess?

 Another season of 6:00 a.m. week-end, wake-up calls by that blatant, annoying object beside me! No, it’s not my husband. He’s the one on the other side whose large frame remains snug beneath the blankets and whose loud breathing seems to be saying, “Eat your heart out.” Well it’s his turn next week, I’ll say to myself. My basement will once again be exposed to the foul musky odor of ventilating hockey equipment. The air fresheners are ready, (discretely of course) and waiting just in case any unsuspecting, visitor wanders down the stairs.

  I will spend much of my valuable time working concession, bingo and other fund raising activities, anything to subsidize our exorbitant fees. I’ll be driving white knuckled for hours, fighting my way through traffic on the snow-covered roads while listening to an impatient fourteen-year-old in the back seat shouting, “Step on it Mom; we’re gonna be late!” Hours will be spent in cold, grubby arenas, inhaling musty air filled with the aroma of coffee, greasy fries and stale perspiration. On hard wooden benches we’ll huddle together in our patchwork blankets cheering for our team with vigor and determination and listening to the coaches shouting from the bench, “Pick up your man! Check him! Hustle, Jamie, Hustle!” and watching the intensely competitive parent, you always get one or two, pressing his face against the Plexiglas screaming, “No way Ref. What kind of *&@* @&*@ call was that!” Thinking to myself, as always, “This is crazy.” No wonder we are turning out such aggressively competitive athletes. And remembering when the game was played for fun. When winning or losing was just a byproduct. Now when I ask my son, “Did you have fun?” he gives me a puzzled look and says, “No Mom, we lost. Remember!” On the road again, is it all worth it? You betcha!