Can I get an amen for hockey evaluations being over with for another season? Because good lord it was a bumpy one.
Before we dive in, a quick explanation to those who have yet to run this gauntlet. Every hockey season, if you are out of Initiation, starts with an evaluation period. In the competitive leagues, this is a try out, and in house league, it’s evaluation. The evaluation consists of a few ice times where the kids skate through a handful of drills and then do a small scrimmage. After the ice times, we have bubble games to see some players skate again (the ones “on the bubble” between levels of hockey). They face off against other players of a similar skill level. Then we end with balancing games where each level faces off against other teams of the same level to ensure the teams are fair and balanced.
Ok. With that out of the way….
It started off great. I got Boy #2 to his evaluations, at the right rink, at the right time and with paperwork in hand. Go. Me. Trust me when I say that never happens.
I may have celebrated this achievement too early. Next thing you know, it’s 4:30 (you know, when Boy #1 is supposed to be at the rink), we’re 15 minutes away, assuming traffic cooperates. And my phone has died so I cant text anyone to tell them we are on the way. Awesome.
The good news is that we got there. And got Boy #1 into his hockey gear and on the ice with 2 minutes to spare (#rockstarstatus).
I had forgotten the paperwork for him at home, so I just filled it out a second time. This stuff happens. And it happens to me every year at least once.
We currently have two out of three teams finalized. The last balancing game is on Saturday for Boy #2 and then hockey will begin in earnest. With that end in sight, here’s what I learned from the 2017 hockey evaluation season.
- No matter how long you have done this hockey merry go round, there will be a day where you arrive at the rink so very late. Or at the wrong rink. Or with the wrong kid. It happens. We’re human. It’s not the end of the world. Or even the end of the season. It just is.
- There will likely come a point where you start to feel like you are back in highschool being judged for something you have no control over. In this case, it’s how well your kid skates. With any luck at all you can talk yourself out of this feeling and chalk it up to a very bad or very overwhelming day.
- Depending on the kid in front of you, hockey evaluations are either just another chance to be on the ice, or the seventh circle of their own private introvert hell. As a parent, this is not only difficult to walk through with them, but it’s exhausting on top of it. Exact conversation in my house went something like this:
- Me: Hey! Boy #2, it’s time to go to hockey! Yay!
- Boy #2: Do I have to go on the ice first (as in before his brothers. I don’t know what this is, but he’s worried about this every year since we signed him up the first year)
- Me: Yes. Boy #1 has his later this afternoon.
- Boy #2: I don’t want to play hockey this year.
- It is really nice to walk back into the rink after a summer away and see the hockey mom friends you haven’t been able to see all summer. As much as I miss my “regular” friends during hockey season, I miss my hockeymom friends in the summer. I’m contrary like that.
- Thankfully hockey evaluations are relatively short. By the time my boys hit the ice this weekend (yes, all three have ice time), we’ll have forgotten the worst of it in the joy of watching them do something they love. I might not like hockey evaluations, but they are necessary to get to the good stuff.
With all that said, I’m writing this with a really big glass of wine beside me and the anticipation of a wonderful season in front of me. I have three boys very excited to start the season and play hockey with their friends. There are far worse places to be.
I’ll see you at the rink, my friends.