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Hockey Moms and Dads: The Unsung Heroes

Nov 13, 2012 02:10PM ● By Erin Frisch

Hockey Moms and Dads—Unsung Heroes

It’s the wee hours of the morning, still no trace of the dawn’s early light on the horizon, and the icy air cuts through the coats and mittens of the drivers pulling up to the ice rink. These are the hockey moms and dads—the unsung heroes in any family with a young hockey player—who are out there when the rest of us are still snuggled under layers of quilts, making sure the kids are on time for their teams. Odd hours, cold rinks, and sweaty clothes in the back seat of the car are common among the unwavering parent-cheerleaders.

Boys and girls usually start hockey at a young age. As each year slides by, watching the kids play becomes more fun. Besides practices and games, kids usually participate in holiday tournaments or even private practice clinics to hone their strengths. Seeing their progress as skaters, players, and teams makes the long car rides through the dark to freezing arenas all worth it.

Cold weather and icy hockey rinks are part of the deal, to be sure. After all, what would winter in New England be without hockey? Even indoor rinks are nippy at best, so everyone has to be bundled up in multiple layers. At least the kids are racing up and down the ice, staying warm from all the exertion.

It’s not just the bitter cold, the early wake-up calls, and the darkness before dawn that make hockey moms and dads unsung heroes. Many games in the Northeast involve lengthy drives that add miles and hours to early mornings, and winter weekends for many hockey families are spent mostly in the car. Parents bring along lots of high-protein snacks and Gatorade so kids can refuel after a grueling game or practice, and by the end of the season, the family chariot often turns on its own into drive-throughs, where mom or dad can get their caffeine fix to keep on driving and the kids can warm up with hot chocolate.

So here’s to those hockey parents! We who rise at a civilized hour and sit at breakfast in toasty robes and slippers raise our cups of coffee and salute you! No matter how difficult or how demanding, you’re stepping up to the challenge of raising healthy, happy, well-rounded kids—and maybe even the next Tim Thomas or Alexis Crossley.

What is your favorite hockey memory?

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