It seems crazy, zooming out of work at 4:30 on the dot, calling the CDC on the way to ask them to get the boys ready, pick up the boys, zoom to the skating rink, get Gabriel dressed and ready, leave the boys there, zoom some more to get Katrina, the usual negotiations and cajoling to get her going, zooming back to the ice rink where most of the good parking is now gone, and then freeze while the class runs a full 15 minutes over its half-hour alloted time.
Such is the life of a hockey mom.
Maybe I should have been a soccer mom. I always swore I would never be a soccer mom, but little did I know about the hardships of a hockey mom.
Soccer moms are a lot warmer. Soccer moms also have a much more pleasant place to hang out and wait during practice, where their other children can play and not freeze while waiting. Soccer moms can chat with other moms instead of shouting over the awful acoustics at a noisy ice rink with the one or two dads who stay to watch. Soccer moms also don't risk getting whacked in the head constantly by hockey sticks with tens of kids wobbling around on skates waving said sticks in the staging area, and soccer moms don't need trunk-sized wheeled duffels and extra car-top carriers to get all the gear around. Soccer goalies especially are darned near naked compared to a hockey goalie.
And then there's the lipstick problem.
This is making me look forward to being a baseball mom, as baseball on the whole seems far more convenient and played in a far more agreeable setting.
Except for one thing. Hockey is just so darned fun.
Our skating practice last Saturday really paid off - Gabriel certainly earned himself a "most improved" award today. He wasn't blown away by the whole class this time -- not that that bothered him last week -- and he held his own in most of the exercises. He was skating well enough overall that he really got something out of the lesson, instead of scrambling to keep up the whole time. So far, most of the lesson is hockey skating, no stickhandling or puck yet, but they are getting used to skating with a stick in their hands. That counts.
Gabriel was confident and almost aggressive today about getting to the head of the line as best he could. Last week he was last for everything; this week he shoved ahead as much as he could.
(Hard to see him in this photo, but he's just under and to the left of the two kids whose black helmets are together, at the left edge of the purple pillar, about 6th from left starting from the coach.)
Hard to see him in this flood of kids, but it's a drastic difference from last week, as he's mid-pack. It's hard to pick him out, but it gives you an idea of what he's in (a kid trips right in front of him, he skates around -- look for the little kid in the blue jacket and jeans).
Gabriel had a few trips and falls today too, but it seemed everyone was falling around him.
(They even practiced crossovers today, and for this Gabriel was actually prepared, as I've taught him basic crossovers and he's comfortable with the concept, though his execution is in its infancy.)
Another exercise: skate in a circle, pushing off with your outside foot. What a fun lesson, I wish I could do it too! Watching this now, it almost shocks me to see how well he's skating compared to just last week.
The only part he was way behind the group again was for the backward skating, something I haven't been able to teach him (no expert myself, but it's very easy to move backward on skates). He knew how to go a few feet, but this time he had to cross the whole rink. He did great the second time he went across.
I think he really enjoyed this lesson, and was pretty tired afterward too. Good! For me, the zooming around and being cold while waiting and having to deal with Katrina's fury over leaving the rink (again), the hassle -- entirely worth it. The feeling of beaming pride at watching my tenacious little son growing and learning by leaps and bounds in front of my eyes is an unmatchable reward.
And lucky me, I get to do it again soon for Julian. I only hope I like watching baseball as much.