Last night, after I had deafened him in one ear cheering my eldest son’s goal, my brother-in-law officially declared me a Hockey Mom. (Sorry, Mike.) Decibels alone, apparently, are sufficient to earn me the moniker. Never mind the kilometers travelled from rink to rink, the countless hurried meals cooked and eaten on the run, or, heaven help me, the thousands of times I’ve
nagged reminded the boys to hang up and air out their hockey gear immediately after each game. I consider myself something of a fanatic on that score, actually, since the awful stench of hockey gear is a totally avoidable thing and need never, not ever, be a part of my car or home environment. (Do you hear that, boys. Never.)
Well, I was thrilled to discover this weekend that a dad of one of the boys’ teammates washes all his son’s hockey gear each week, and a more devoted Hockey Dad you could not hope to meet. The padded shorts, the knee and elbow pads, the chest pads; the whole shebang. That’s more often than I do it (monthly), and notwithstanding my brother-in-law’s deafness, this was the last hurdle I needed to overcome my sense of not quite belonging to the hockey parent crowd. I’ve been assured by numerous (smelly-gear) people that it is just not right to launder hockey gear, and each time I crammed the gear into the washing machine I felt a combination of self-righteousness and a wee bit of hesitation that I was cementing my outsider status with each load. No more! My boys will wear their field-fresh-scented gear proudly, and I will embrace Hockey Mom status whole-heartedly, knowing that I’m not the only laundry fanatic in the stands.