Never underestimate the power of a hockey mom!
By Allyson Tufts
As Mother’s Day is approaching, it’s the perfect time for celebrating the moms who make it possible for their young hockey players to follow their passion.
My kids will soon be out of their teenage years. And as much as I’m enjoying watching them navigate their way into adulthood, I have to say I miss those innocent days when I was their hero and (most of the time) their number one choice to spend time with. I think most moms would agree that those years when you are their favorite are priceless.
Not long ago I was conducting interviews with hockey moms and their young players for a video series I was working on. About halfway through the day a mom walked in with her wide-eyed young son. He was very polite, and even greeted me with a smile and a handshake. I had to peek under the rim of his cap to be able to see his little face.
He looked around the room, staring at the cameras and the lights; you could see he was in awe of the whole thing. My friend, who was doing the filming, broke the ice by asking him, “Do you have any other interviews today?” The young boy looked up, and not realizing the camera operator was joking, said, “No, just this one.” His mom smiled at him as she watched him take his seat. So we decided we would interview them together, sitting side by side.
As soon as we told them they could sit together, the relief on their faces quickly became very clear. When they took their seats the boy instantly started to fidget, legs swinging, and hands tapping on the chair. His mom gently leaned over and put her hand on his, and with that little touch he calmed down.
I began by asking him what he loved about hockey. He described the way it feels to be in an exciting game, he talked about his coach, and all of the great friends he’d met. With every answer his mom’s smile seemed to get wider and wider, until finally it was her turn.
“What do you love the most about watching your son play?” I asked her. She then turned to him and said, “Everything! It’s not one specific thing, it’s every time I get to watch him, every time I get to drive him to the games, and every time we go for hot chocolate after. I guess I love it all.”
It struck me that none of that had anything to do with wins or losses. It had everything to do with watching her son thrive and—more importantly—it had everything to do with being with him while he did it.
I then turned to the boy and asked, “What’s the best part of having Mom in the stands, watching you?” “I like looking up at her,” he replied, “and when I ‘do good’ she has a big smile on her face.” My heart instantly melted and I knew this was a moment I wanted to capture. We then asked them if they could get a little closer so we could take a picture.
Without any instructions or inhibitions, this bright-eyed 7-year-old boy crawled up on his mother’s lap and put his arm around her. There they sat, cheek to cheek, with big smiles on their faces as they got ready to have their photo taken.
As I watched them smiling, it instantly took me back to a time so many years ago. Before Sweet 16, before girlfriends, before hugs were embarrassing, before friends came before Mom, and most importantly, before the regrets of all the things I wish I would have done differently. I had spent so much time talking about what I wished I had done better, that I had forgotten what I loved the most.
The Bond Between a Mother and Her Child
Many times I’ve mentioned how hockey has offered my son so many lessons and so many gifts. I must say, in that moment hockey gave me the gift of remembering what I loved most about it. I guess for me, the power of being a hockey mom comes down to the bond it helped to create between me and my young hockey star. To a hockey mom, our young hockey players will always be our number one star.
So to all of you hockey moms out there, don’t ever underestimate your role in your child’s life—on or off the ice. No matter what they’re trying to accomplish, they need to look up and see you smiling, enjoying every single moment. Don’t ever take too lightly what that smile and the gift of your time does for your child, and for you.
And for all our young hockey players out there, never underestimate the power of the hockey mom. Happy Mother’s Day.
Written by Allyson Tufts, Author, Speaker, and Passionate Hockey Mom
Lessons from Behind the Glass
To learn more about Allyson Tufts or to purchase your copy of Lessons from Behind the Glass (available exclusively at her website), go to www.lessonsfrombehindtheglass.com.
This article is the property of Allyson Tufts and is not to be used or changed without her permission.