And just like that summer is over. We got the email about the hockey evaluation schedule the other day. There were no surprises. After three or four seasons you pretty much know how things are going to go. But it’s a sign that summer is coming to an end and it’s time to get back to routine.
And back to the rink.
If you’ve been following along with me for the last little bit, you’re ready to go. The gear has been checked, repaired and replaced. The skates have been sharpened and the sticks have been located.
By some miracle of mom brain, I actually managed to pull together a meal plan for the month of September, with grocery lists for each week.
I don’t know who I am anymore.
The next step, then, is to get together all the things that you will need in the stands. Now don’t get me wrong, I rough it out there as much as the next hockey mom. But there comes a point in the season where the cold gets to me and I start to wish for the comforts.
It’s usually about a month in.
So rather than rough it out at all, why not pack up right out of the gate? I mean, since we’ve already got out players ready, why not treat ourselves, right?
Here’s just what to bring to the hockey rink as a spectator also known as
The HockeyMom Survival Kit
- Blanket: A year ago, my very talented girl friend crocheted me a “stadium” blanket in our team colours. It’s beautiful and does two jobs, it keeps me warm and it saves bench space for the rest of the family while HockeyDad gets the player ready for the game. The keeping me warm part is crucial as a cold HockeyMom is a cranky HockeyMom.
- Snacks: Any sibling worthy of the title will bitterly complain about having to go and sit at the rink again even if this is the first game of the season. It’s what they do. Snacks help to distract and fills the time for them. When I’m totally on my game, we pack a lunch box full. Set that between them and you might get 10 minutes of uninterrupted game watching time. Word to the wise, set aside two or three of the snacks for the player post game or you might have a war on your hands.
- Noise makers, cheering things: Now I’m probably loud enough without these things. And I need my hands for the coffee mug holding that gets me through the first period. But there is no doubt these are fun and should be at the rink with you. If nothing else, it gives the siblings a job to do when the snacks run out.
- A book. Those of you that follow me on Instagram probably know that I’m almost never without a book. And practice time is a great opportunity for me to get some reading in while the boys skate. As the season goes on, I tend to read less and visit with the other parents more, but now and then you just need a book.
- Entertainment for the siblings: Once the snacks are gone and the noisemakers have lost their appeal, it’s time to break out the big guns. A colouring book, the iPad, a ball….whatever works to keep them busy. We rely on the iPad a lot and while I know it’s not the first choice for a lot of families, I don’t see it as the end of the world either. You make your decisions based on what works for your family. The iPad works for us.
- For bonus points: Your own travel mug for rink coffee. Whether you purchase it on the way, or at the rink, it’s nice to have your own travel mug. Preferably one with a leak proof top so that when you need to cheer, you can. I often forget this one. Or I always forget this one. What can I say? There’s only so much brain space to go around.
This is not to be confused with the Hockey Bag survival kit. That is specifically for your player and is best to be kept in their bag at all times. The above list is to make the countless hours at the rink more tolerable for the spectators in the stands.
Because if you have to be there, you may as well be comfortable.
See you at the rink.