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Giving Thanks for Youth Hockey

As a hockey mom, it's sometimes a little hard to express true gratitude. I mean why would anyone be thankful for having to go to Minnesota in January or having to routinely get up before the sun to make a practice or a game? You are a chauffeur, equipment manager, nutritionist, psychologist and more..all without the paycheck.

But at the end of the day (or season) yes, there are things that we mom (and dads) are grateful for. 

Here are my top 12:

12. Equipment sellers that are way more knowledgeable than I am. Chest protectors, how to fit a helmet? Wtf, I've never played..don't ask me! 

11. Rinks with a decent concession stand. You never know when the urge to have a pretzel and a slushie might hit. Then of course there's the obligatory hot chocolate and coffee.

10. And speaking of food..a husband that cooks. While I am freezing in the rink I know that a crock pot full of something fabulous is waiting on me.

9. The teammate who never forgets his water bottle. As the mother of a goalie who can never seem to remember hers, I can rest easy knowing that she will poach someone else's. Flu anyone?

8. Southwest Airlines. Unlike other airlines, they don't charge baggage fees for sticks and allows one bag free...even the gargantuan can-fit-almost-her-entire-team goalie bag.

7. Tolerant friends. Ones that still want to talk to me knowing that I will probably drone on about games, trips and practices. While they may not understand at least they don't kick me to the curb.

6. Hockey friends. The few, the proud, the mentally unstable. The ones that do understand, will talk you off the ledge if necessary and become part of your tribe, your alliances in the Hunger Games..even the ones you only know through social media. The odds are ever in our favor.

5. Ponytails and hats. Without them I might just look like a scarecrow at early morning games and practices.

4. Hotels with a bar. I really don't think any explanation is needed on this one.

3. Coaches. For doing the impossible most of the time which is wrangling a group of rowdy kids into some sort of formed unit by game time. True jedi masters.

2. Hockey mom apparel companies. Because nothing makes you feel better about spending your life savings on hockey than a blingy sweatshirt or custom socks with "Hockey Mom" on them.

1. My daughter, the goalie for getting us on this crazy ride and making it all worthwhile!

Of course that isn't a complete list but it's a good start..what say you hockey parents? What are you most thankful for?

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