By: Tanya Pimental
Before he could say much, my son would yell, “Gooooaaaaalllll!” with true delight. His love for hockey started at a young age and he quickly deemed Tim Thomas his favorite player. The goalie inspired his name change from Jack Thomas to Jack Tim Thomas. We knew skating was in his future and at 18 months, we put him on skates. I didn’t see myself as a hockey mom. I was wrong.
After a year of learning to skate and getting used to the ice, we went on to a Preliminary Hockey Development. He finished it when he was just three. He had his hockey PHD. From there we started a skills program to really work on his skating and his hockey technique. This program has really been great for him. The Bridgewater Ice Arena is our home away from home. And I realize, there isn’t any where I’d rather be.
Watching my boy on the ice is bliss. The cold doesn’t seem to bother me quite as much as others. My daughters roam freely with their friends and I don’t worry about them like I maybe should. And when my boy flies by on his skates and beams at me, he’s always flashing me a smile. And I’m always watching.
My brother played hockey growing up and then living in a small town, I spent lots of weekends at our local rink. I tried to skate and wasn’t really any good at it. I sold 50/50 raffle tickets and flirted with the boys. I guess I was always at home in the rink. Maybe I was destined to be a Hockey Mom.
He’s just turning six next week and has some amazing skills. His team is still working out the kinks and he’s giving each practice his best. I love when he gets to mingle with some older kids or run drills with another experienced team. I’m proud of him. I’m a hockey mom.
Then I realize that our earliest games have been 8 a.m. and our practices are in the evening. We haven’t yet had to be at the rink before dawn. What will that be like? Will I still be excited about being a Hockey Mom? I sure hope so. For now, I want him to skate as much as he can and to taste the thrill of a goal often.
Last weekend, he got the chance to play as goalie. Part of me hoped he would decide the net was not for him. And yet, despite the play being in front of him the entire game and endless shots on goal, he loved it. He saved more goals than they got and he can’t wait to do it again. For me, I want him playing forward and scoring goals. I need him to get that goal to know the high of scoring and not just getting all the action at the net. Someone recently shared that “goalie’s are born and not made.” We shall see.
I know I should expose him to other sports and encourage him off the ice more. Baseball was boring and he hasn’t asked to try other sports yet. Hockey is where his heart is and it’s where I like to be. I think it’s safe to say that my almost-six-year-old has a Hockey Mom. And dare I say, I love it? The ice, the cold, the speed, the passion of these young kids…it’s awesome and it’s real. I can’t imagine not being a Hockey Mom to Jack Tim Thomas.