Tis the time of year again, when we all, with best intentions, come up with a list of resolutions; those little things we admit we should or shouldn’t be doing in good conscience. It’s perhaps sad or at least regrettable that I should be able to come up with a list solely centred around my hockey parenting life; to complement a raft of other more generalized life prescriptions I should be heeding. But such is the case and so here, for better or worse, is the list of items to which I will somewhat steadfastly adhere for roughly 365 days (starting sometime early next week).
I will make a concerted effort to give referees the benefit of the doubt; particularly when it appears they obtained their credentials for passing judgment on the team I’m rooting for from the bottom of a certain sweet and tasty popcorn treat container.
I will attempt to refrain from laughing out loud when either the Devil or Boy make a particularly boneheaded play or comical faux pas. Hey…they would do the same to me if the roles were reversed.
I will resist the urge to put gravy on my arena fries. Gotta feeling this one may fall before all the others. After all, fries and gravy is like the lifeblood of Canada, eh?
I will turn off or at least place my phone on vibrate during the Devil’s and Boy’s games or at least during their shifts.
In the unlikely event I am unable to locate a previously unvisited arena in a remote rural town, I will strongly consider stopping to ask for directions.
I will try to not partake in pre or post-game tailgating festivities, which may or may not include the occasional alcoholic beverage. Yeah, you can likely file this one with the fries and gravy. What else are you gonna do for an entire hour before a game or after a particularly satisfying victory? Besides, idle chit chat about who’s not getting enough ice time or the relative merits of a particular penalty killing scheme generally require liquid accompaniment.
I will be mostly, wholly satisfied with strong efforts and good tries in lieu of first places and championship victory laps; though the latter would be gladly welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed. To this former end, I will further remind myself it’s a whole lot easier to “skate harder” and “hit the net” from my comfy vantage point up in the stands or behind the glass because the game sure changes once I slap on the gear.
Further to the last pledge, I will likewise try to not second guess coaching decisions. I should certainly know better having recently occupied a spot on the bench, but I think we’re all guilty of biased and ill-informed opinions from time-to-time. Of course, it’s been well documented that some of us are more vocal with those opinions than others and I certainly don’t plan on being “that hockey parent”. On this note, I will refrain from donning the ever-popular rose-coloured glasses worn so often by “those hockey parents”.
I will do my best to tolerate the jeers (or are those cheers) of rival hockey parents and players when those same rivals score a goal or land a particularly memorable body check on one of our Boys or ladies. I mean, surely I don’t sound like that when ours is on the right side of such occurrences. Just in case, I will endeavour to keep my post goal/victory celly’s to a reasonable level.
Finally, I can, with all confidence, promise to continue to enjoy my time spent at the rink watching the Boy and the Devil play the game they love no matter when, where or for how long that may be.
I am certain there are many of you who are making similar, if not slightly more realistic, annual decrees and I would love to hear them. There’s probably a few I should and will be adding to my scroll.