I did not know, when I met a cute boy from Minnesota and rushed into marriage with him, that he'd grown up on hockey skates. I mean, when you only date for six months, there's a chance you'll never get around to some of the more serious issues of life before you tie the knot. Premarital counseling would have been beneficial, but of course, we didn't have time for that.
All was quiet on the hockey front in our home, until the North Stars became the Dallas Stars and built a rink in our area so that people in Texas could fall in love with the coolest game on ice. Lucky for us, we had a six year old boy, and by this time my Minnesotan husband was itching to coach our cub in the ways of stick-handling and goal-scoring.
First Shoulder Pads
And thus began my fifteen year run as a rink-side Hockey Mom.
From mini-mites to the high school and collegiate levels, it's been a lot of fun.
My Favorite Aggie Defenseman
Every single time I've watched my son play, I've said a prayer of thanks. (Along with a prayer for safety, of course. Please, Lord, may he keep all his teeth.)
And at every single game, I've thought about all the kids in this world with physical challenges, who would love to have one minute on the ice without pain, or without a wheelchair, or without their disability. I've thought about all the moms who would love to have one minute of standing rink-side, with toes frozen, to pound on the glass for their kid.
Cheering at the top of your lungs as your kid plays sports is a luxury, not a given.
Which brings me to hockey hair, salad, and warriors.
At our house, one of the highlights of recent years has been keeping up with the State of Hockey (Minnesota) High School Championships, and the hilarious "All Hockey Hair" videos. I'm not sure who narrates these, but a guy nominates the top "salads," or hairstyles of the kids on the ice. I love his dry sense of humor and use of all the hockey hair lingo. No doubt he'd say my son has some pretty serious "flow."
This year the hockey gear company, Warrior, is sponsoring the All Hockey Hair team by donating $15,000 to the Hendrickson Foundation, which benefits Special Hockey, Sled Hockey, and the military through USA Warriors. USA Warriors is an amazing group that helps disabled vets compete on sleds, and works with special needs kids so that they can play, too. Watching these veterans zoom around on the ice and experience the thrill of competing is just wonderful, especially knowing that they've made such incredible physical sacrifices to serve our country.
You can support this donation by simply watching the video. There's no catch...just have some fun.
Here is this year's team, celebrating the best in high school hockey hair...and helping some terrific warriors along the way.
Click here to see the video.
If you're interested in helping USA Warriors more, you can donate here.
Tell me, do your kids play sports? What's your favorite memory from the years of going to practices and games?