Sarah Palin had it right when she said "hockey moms are like bulldogs with lipstick." At the time she said it, I just thought it was funny. Now, after two years of traveling with two boys, I understand how right she was.
Here are a few tips I've picked up to make hockey life a little less crazy. Enjoy and use them if you are traveling for the first time. If you've been down this road before and have some to add, send them my way and we will post them!
- 4x4/AWD Vehicle - It will snow for most of the away games. If you don't have one, scope out the parents on the team that do and partner up. Grand Rapids teams rarely cancel due to weather.
- GPS - A Garmin or TomTom is super handy for finding the rinks. They are usually located on some little road, off another little road that you will have a tough time finding on a map. They are also more reliable that having your son navigate while he plays his DS.
- Cooler filled with Gatorade and snacks - You've probably figured this out already, but regardless of when your son had his last meal, as soon as they see the concession stand, they will be starving. The cooler keeps the items from freezing and can be left in the vehicle all season and saves a lot of money!
- Extras - Laces, sticks, socks, mouthguard. And even though you hope your child will be responsible and make sure their bag is packed, if they arrive at the game missing something, YOU will still be blamed. It saves an argument if you check the bag before leaving home.
- Orange and black - Clothing and accessories. It is easiest to dress for games in the team colors of orange and black. However, if this isn't possible it is wise to check to see what the other teams colors are. Nothing is more embarrassing than showing up for a game and looking like one of THEIR parents.
Most of all, you will find that because you spend so much time with the other parents on the team, they will become part of your extended family. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you have to work and your son needs a ride to practice or a game. We have met a lot of great families over the last two years. We are all here to help each other and support the game our children love!