Hockey season just ended again, and we are spent. My son, Brett, was a first year Pee Wee this season, playing for the Wonderland Wizards in Bridegport, CT. For those unfamiliar with hockey terminology, a Pee Wee is the term used for players between the ages of 11 and 12. My son has been ice skating and then playing hockey for most of his life. He started with skating lessons at barely 3, then participated in the obligatory, “learn to play” program, followed by Mites, Squirts, PeeWee’s…each level is a 2 year stop, a place to develop oneself on the ice with an ever changing team and coaching staff. The season always seems never ending at the beginning, daunting almost. It starts late August and typically ends in March, offering players and parents 6 intensely busy months to enjoy stinky locker rooms, endless hours in the car journeying to towns whose only landmark is their hockey rink, snacks and drinks ground into the car’s seats and spilled on the car mats, iPads needing a charge, and water bottles needing a refill. Hockey does not cancel because of inclement weather. We rather risk our lives driving at sunrise or sunset in flurries and blizzards to fulfill our children’s dreams. The end of the season culminates with State tournaments and is always full of mixed emotions. This season was my son’s happiest to date.
The transition out of the season is always challenging. We go from a 4 days a week schedule to nothing. My son is in a hockey hang over state of mind, bored, not knowing what to do or where to go except on the phone to text his team, seeking the connection that was made over the last 6 months.
There are so many stories that I will share this month about youth hockey. They will encapsulate life’s rollercoaster through the eyes of a hockey mom, and to capture the emotion of the season and all of its beauty, I will share a poem written last week by Brett.
Team by Brett
My hockey team,
A spark of light in a dim world.
The ice is a frozen palace of joy,
A shiny sanctuary,
Bringing us all together.
Unique as individuals,
United as one.
My hockey team.
More to come tomorrow…..