A Hockey Mom’s Story


So another hockey season is upon us—my son’s hockey, that is.
If I am to be perfectly honest, I would have to say that I have mixed emotions about the new season. As much enjoyment that it brings to my son (and husband), and fitness benefits aside, I selfishly grumble upon the disruption to our family life.

The thought of ridiculously early practice times, the bad coffee at the rink, the frozen toes, the disrupted Sunday night dinners and missed family occasions due to practices, games and tournaments makes me kind of crazy. This can’t be good for the family unit, can it? Hockey eats away at precious family time that could be spent playing board games (as if), being together and enjoying a family fall outing.

I had a special opportunity this week that made me think a little differently. Some of the SavvyMoms and their children were invited to meet Jonathan Toews, the all-Canadian superstar, Stanley Cup Champion, captain of the Chicago Blackhawks and Canadian Olympic gold medalist—all this at the age of 23.

Jonathan has teamed up with Canadian Tire and the National Hockey League to promote youth hockey in Canada. Their goal is to provide grass roots initiatives across Canadian communities—one of which is the Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills Competition. Their website, canadiantirehockeyschool.ca is a great resource for hockey players and their families, full of tips, articles and special offers.

Jonathan is what hockey heroes are made of, and yet he was open and approachable to adults and kids alike. No question was offside. One of my favorites was from one of the young hockey players who asked him: “Are you better than Sidney Crosby?” To which he replied, “I am right now”.

My questions were a little less endearing, but he answered them with as heartfelt a manner as if he was speaking about his latest hockey stats. What about his mom? The toll hockey played on their family life? Did he have any siblings? Were they close?

His reply gave me no doubt that his time at the arena did nothing to erode his family bonds. Quite the contrary, Jonathan beamed when he spoke of his parents—the dedication of his mom and dad, and the sacrifices they made to finance his sport and get him to the rink on time. He was also quick to share that his parents embraced the joy of his sport, including attending the Canadian Olympic game. He also has a younger brother who is a very talented hockey player.

So it made me a little more relaxed about the season ahead and all that is involved. It reminded me of all the good things that a sport can offer in terms of sharing an experience with my young guy—even if one of my biggest contributions is staying on top of the team emails.

Oh, and cheering my heart out at his games, of course.

Angela, the boys and Jonathan Loews


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