With the change of seasons comes the change of extra curricular sports for Q. I might be a Type A Soccer Mom, but I'm totally a Who Cares Ball Hockey Mom.
I hate hockey.
I'm trying really, really hard to like it, because Q really, really, really, really, really loves it. He eats, sleeps, drinks, breathes hockey. He can have completely coherent adult conversations about hockey. He knows what "Icing" means. I think it's Icing. Maybe it's off side? I have no idea. Maybe they're the same thing? Anyways, if Q were here right now, I could ask him and he would tell me.
Ice hockey is ridiculously expensive. Like insane expensive. And I don't think any parent actually puts their kid in hockey unless they're planning for a return on their investment 15 years down the line. I'm not sure any parent puts their son (or daughter...) in hockey solely because their child loves hockey. Well, except for my best friend - I'm sure she did. But everyone else has visions of million dollar contracts dancing in their head while at the rink on a crappy, snowy Saturday morning at 5 am.
Ball hockey is the cheap alternative. Unfortunately, this does not mean that it is any less intense or low key. Q is in the Minor Ball Hockey league. He's a Peanut. That is probably the only cute thing about this whole sport. Because Ice time is so coveted - okay, wait...I'm not even sure...is it called Ice time? There's no Ice...Rink time, maybe? But then what, they're out on the rink? In the rink? I have no idea how you refer to it when there's no ice - floor?? Because rink time is so coveted, the peanut division does not get any time to practice. They only have games.
Do you know what this means?
This means that you're putting a whole bunch of 6 year old's (oh, 6-8 year old's actually, but don't even get me started on #10 who is most definitely not 6 and probably not 8, either. He's like 2 1/2 feet taller than all the other kids, and his dad is the coach...I'm just saying...) So, you're putting a whole bunch of 6-8 year old kids on a regulation size rink and yelling at them for an hour.
Believe me, I'm not laughing.
The poor little loves don't even know where to stand for a face off, let alone how to score a goal. So, how do you fix that? Well, if you're one of two coaches, you yell. Hell, if you're two of two coaches, you yell. So, each team has two coaches (can't have one coach alone with kids, because...........), there are two teams, that equals four coaches yelling at these sweet, beautiful children. It can get pretty loud in there, with all the coaches yelling orders, so if you're really on the ball...you'll yell a little louder than the rest.
For an hour I hear, "HUSTLE" "USE THE BOARDS" "IT'S YOUR BALL" and "SHOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
The kids don't know if they're coming or going. They don't know if they're on the ice (rink/floor/whatever) or not. And because grown men evidently cannot count, the little guys sit in the penalty box for 2 minutes because the there were 6 guys on the floor instead of 5. Is that the poor little boy's fault? No. He's just doing what his coach told him to do. Or maybe it was the other coach...on the other team...it was kind of difficult to hear.
I have to tell you, when I named my child I specifically took the time to find a name that was unique but not weird, uncommon but cool. I didn't want him to be one of 15 Matthews in a class. So, I named him Quinn. I had never, ever heard the name before I named him Quinn.
Quinn is one of two Quinn's on his hockey team, and last week they were playing a team that also had two Quinn's and a Quinten. My point? Not only are they trying to figure out what their coaches are yelling at them, they're trying to figure out which Quinn they're yelling at. My Quinn was one of four Quinn's. Totally ironic thing? Not one Matthew. On either team.
Okay, so we're using the boards. We're hustling. We're shooting. Well *I'm* not. That would just be wrong. And Oh. My. Goodness. 24 seconds have passed. It is, without any exaggeration at all, the longest hour of my life. I can't tell which kid is mine unless he has his back to me and in some stroke of genius I remember what number he is. For the longest time I thought he was lucky number 13 until I realized the running shoes didn't match. Now, the only real way to figure out which kid is mine is to check the shoes. And when my kid isn't playing I have absolutely no desire to watch.
Or listen. In addition to the grown ass men yelling all their dreams at these children, we have the parents yelling at their kids. Ha, if you thought I was a Type A Soccer Mom, you should see some of these parents yelling. Yelling at everyone - the refs (who are all of 12 years old), the kids ("Check 'em!!!") and the coaches ("PULL THE GOALIE" with 2 seconds to go in the game. For real.) Have we all lost our senses? These are little boys (and girls) running around with sticks trying to hit a ball. Give them a break. Take a Prozac or a Ritalin and call it a day.
My heart breaks because Q wants to score a goal so friggen badly, but he's a 6 year old playing with a bunch of 8 year old Goliaths, and he's not been in the right place at the right time. Truth be told, this kid is a stellar defense man. Hands down, you need a kid to protect your goal and my kid is the man for the job.
Two things I can live with: The coach kept calling the kids by their name, and I thought "Dude, call them by their number it's way easier." and then I saw him specifically checking the names to the numbers and I realized that he was making a conscious effort to call them by name. Think about it, you've just played your guts off and as you run by the players box (is that what they call it???) your coach yells out, "Good job, Quinn!" How's that for a self-esteem booster, huh? I'll put him in Ball Hockey again next year for that reason alone. Number 12? That's just a number, but Quinn....that's my name!!
Number 2 thing? Our secret weapon is a girl named Emma. Man, she rocks that game.