The Hockey Family Tree
They say it takes a village to raise a kid and there's no truer statement in the world of youth hockey. But in hockey the villagers can take on many forms. Being around for quite a while, I have seen many types of parenting situations and have been part of several at one time or another.
Let's deconstruct shall we?
The We-Do-Everything-Together Parents - These parents believe in equality. Both come to practice, both come to games and both probably shed tears when, together, they write out the hockey check.
The Somebody's-Gotta-Pay-For-This or We-Have-More-Than-One-Kid Parents - There are two parents but you only ever see the one. They could have more than one kid or the other parent has a demanding job or travels a lot. Either way, one parent is going solo most of the time. Be kind, it's a lot of work.
The I-Wish-Our-Marriage-Was-As-Calm-As-Their-Divorce Parents - These parents are divorced but you WOULD NEVER KNOW IT! They speak civilly to one another, make rational decisions about their kid's hockey and may even sit next to each to each other during games. Much respect for not wanting to kill each other in front of witnesses and keeping it classy for their kids.
The Can't-Be-In-The-Same-Rink-Together-Divorced Parents - Then you have the OTHER divorced parents. The ones who cannot even attend a team meeting without causing a scene, causing their kid to go running toward the locker room or car to get away or causing a police intervention. During the season you hope they turn into Somebody's-Gotta-Pay-For-This or We-Have-More-Than-One-Kid type where you only see one of them. Or somebody gets a restraining order. Either way.
The I-Got-This-But-Forgive-Me-If-I-Forget-Where-The-Game-Is Single Parent - Who knows what happened to the other parent because they are never talked about. It's always the same parent juggling everything and they are usually 5 minutes late or lost in a tournament city. Don't be too hard on them, I've been there!
The Does-This-Kid-Even-Have-Parents Parents - Otherwise known as the invisible parents. They stop at the curb, shove their kid out with their bag and then magically reappear curbside when practice is over. These same parents also send their children on trips with other parents. Are they vampires? Do they have an allergy to stinky locker rooms and parent gossip? You may never know.
The Billet Parents - You've probably grown somewhat immune to the smell of your player's gear but hey billeting means one of two things 1) you get to inflict your kid's stink on someone else or 2) You get to experience a whole new strain of funk. I have heard nothing but very positive stories coming out of billet situations so I guess this time honored hockey tradition is time honored for a reason!
Do you see yourself in there? What hockey family form are you in right now? No matter which one, it takes all kinds in that hockey village!
Maybe your hockey family looks like this...