After a scrimmage game a few weeks ago, fans had the opportunity to skate with the players. I saw a picture of a young skater – six or seven years old-staring idolizing at the “grown-up” player next to him...
except that “grown-up,” was my boy.
And just as the young skater’s mom probably looked at my son thinking I can’t imagine my child ever looking this grown-up, I looked at hers thinking... I swear my son was that small just yesterday.
And yet, here we are.
After countless hours on the ice- After tens of thousands of miles on the car- After years of finding hotel keys in every pocket and bag-
it's the next chapter for both of us.
You kind of forget that each season creeps into another year... every day closer to a new journey.
For us, this means navigating the world of junior hockey.
And even though we’ve set far too many wake up alarms before 5am-
And even though I’ve damn near froze to death driving with the windows down in subzero temperatures to minimize the stench of three hockey bags in my car-
And even though you’ve towered over me and haven’t needed me to drive you to practices for a couple years...
it still feels like a moment a go you laced up your first skates.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes the teammates and parents that feel like family to raise a hockey player.
So mamas of the young players skating with stars in their eyes- I’m not going to tell you to enjoy every moment because it goes so fast (truly, those ridiculously early mornings suck)...
just please don’t look at us like we’re crazy when we call those “grown men” our little boy.
And to my boy, this next adventure will be amazing and challenging... grueling and exhilarating... and sometimes all of those within one day.
It’s ok, my love, you’re prepared for all of them.
Since- for the first time- I’ll probably see more games through a screen than in the stands please remember
...have fun ...pack snacks ...call your mom