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Diary of a hockey mom, Part 2

• Mar 19, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Dear diary:

The days have blurred together and I no longer have any clear idea when hockey season begins and when it ends. Is that normal?

There is a hockey glove on the kitchen island — I think it’s a clue.

I washed a roll of hockey tape by accident today. Pretty sure the stuff rivals cockroaches for the ability to persevere through any conditions. Somehow it’s still sticky. How can that be?

False alarm — the hockey glove is still there. The season must not have started yet, but now I’m wondering why just the one glove? I don’t ask.

Discovered a new decorative treatment for cement today. Simply leave pucks scattered over your driveway throughout the summer, allow weather to darken surroundings, pick up the pucks in the fall — voila: polka-dotted driveway! The neighbors are jealous, I’m sure of it.

Do you think having a mouth guard just loose in a bag of sweaty equipment clearly breeding micro-organisms is a good idea? Me neither.

Amazingly, I found my hockey blankets at yet another rink’s lost and found. And I thought the hockey tape persevered.

You know you’re a hockey mom when you are well versed in which rinks turn on their heaters and which don’t.

Made a rookie mistake. Left our weekend cooler at home.

All hail the continental breakfast. And, of course, the coveted late check-out.

Sure sign of a high school hockey mom: cherishing away games more than the home ones because of the rare opportunity to wash anything and everything you can dig out of the bag without gagging.

Yet another hockey phenomenon: you pay for a warm-up shirt and, at any given time, there are 0-3 of them in your kid’s bag.

Anyone find it ironic that my son doesn’t like to get his hands messy but has no problem shoving them into the bacteria farms known as hockey gloves?

Why do people from the other team insist on sitting on our side? And then get mad at our cheering?

Found some hockey tape in the hallway today, but something weird happened when I picked it up. A wave of nostalgia came over me. I suddenly remembered the time I used the tape to transform the number 1 into a 9 on someone’s extra jersey since my son left his at home over four hours away. Good times.

Just drove by a familiar late-night gas station where I used to buy a Gatorade or chocolate milk and a giant beef jerky for my son after practice. Did I really just tear up just now?

I take back my entry about not knowing when seasons begin and when they end. Suddenly, I’m well aware of the end — and it’s coming far too fast.

I’ve recently found myself sneaking peaks at my son, standing on the blue line with his teammates during the national anthem. I wonder how he’s gotten so big. Wasn’t he just a Mite not long ago, with his long blonde hair flowing out of the back of his helmet and his little legs striding out? Didn’t we just have to help him tie his skates? How are we in his senior year already?

Senior Night is coming up. I stocked up on travel Kleenex packs, but find myself using them already.

The best thing about high school hockey is that it’s like a reunion every game, seeing all the parents we’ve known throughout the years, our sons having played together as kids, or my husband having coached them. Can it really be that, after years together, soon I won’t see these people ever again?

Started giving the waitress our jersey number until I realized there were no other hockey parents with us.

I can’t sleep. Trying to imagine not watching my son play hockey after 14 years of doing so. He was 4 when he asked Santa for hockey equipment. I had no idea how quickly the time would go by. Where are those Kleenex?

I wonder — do you think it’s possible for me to actually miss the smell of hockey equipment?

I hear the announcer say No. 19. I hear him say his name — my heart breaks with the realization it could be the last time.

This is my last entry for a while, but I know it is not forever. I hope with all my heart my son can play on the club team in college. I hope I can still watch him skate like the wind, with his legs striding out and his blonde hair flowing from the back of his helmet. I want to feel my heart fill with pride when he scores, and even more so when he can score but chooses to pass to his teammate instead. I don’t know if he’ll be able to play in college, but I know that he will continue to play in some way, shape or form. I know that he will always be a hockey player — and I will always, always be a hockey mom.

— By Kelly Kalis, Tribune community columnist. Kelly wrote Part 1, “The diary of a typical hockey mom,” in 2015.

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