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An Open Letter To Hockey Moms, From Hockey Players Everywhere

Dear Hockey Moms,

THANK YOU. Although these two words are merely that, two words, they mean so much more, there is so much that has gone into that “Thank You”. Not on our end but on your end. When you first gave birth to that hockey player there was no contract, there was no “Sign here on the dotted line” for the role of hockey mom. There was simply you and your soon-to-be hockey player. But you knew we would be a hockey player and you were willing to be a hockey mom.

It’s amazing how much has gone into that “thank you”. Since the first time you took us out public skating. Our knees shaking and our hands flailing as we were grasping at air while looking for the steady guide of your hands to keep us on track. That’s where it all started, we fell in love with the game and you fell in love with our happiness, the smile and shear enjoyment the game gave us. We now understand that you  just wanted us to be happy. Thank you for giving us that extra 10 minutes on the backyard rink and waiting that extra 10 minutes after the game, all because we wanted to horse around in the dressing room with the squad for a little bit longer. You knew that we had a 2 hour drive ahead of us and you had to be up at 6am but that didn’t matter, what mattered to you was that we were having fun. Thank you for always welcoming us in off the pond with a big bowl of soup and the perfect hot chocolate to keep that cold at bay. Thank you for giving everything you had so that we could play. Working that extra job or picking up those extra shifts so you could buy us that new pair of skates we needed. Thank you for taking the time to take those pictures and newspaper clippings so that when we grew up we’d have all those memories to look back on. We didn’t know it at the time but those were some of the best times of our life and we’re beyond grateful that you took the time to make sure we never forgot about any of them.  Thank you for having the patience to sit through rush hour traffic, behind snowplows and bravely navigating the worst blizzards imaginable.

Also we want to thank you for all the things you didn’t have to do. There were countless things you just didn’t have to do, but you went above and beyond to do them anyways. You didn’t have to spend every weekend driving hundreds of miles in a minivan packed full of screaming kids. You didn’t have to spend hours sitting on cold hard rink benches, trying to stave off frost bite with 5 layers of sweaters and 3 blankets. You didn’t have to endure cup after cup of stale canteen coffee every weekend. You didn’t have to do any of these things…but you still did.

There are so many things that you didn’t do either. All those nights you could have simply turned off the lights after the 10th time you called us in from shooting in the driveway, but you didn’t. When we needed someone in the net to shoot on, you could have easily said no, but you didn’t. Most of all, when we said we wanted to one day play in the NHL you didn’t give up on us, you didn’t hold us back.

No matter how many times your screams and shouts from the stands or your hugs and kisses in front of the team would embarrass us. We’ll still say “thank you”, thank you for being you, thank you for being a hockey mom.