Being a hockey mom is like any other mom. I don't think we are any different than anyone else except we wear more clothes and mittens are a must have!
I recently cut the sleeves off of an old, brightly colored Gap sweater I had ages ago and made rink mittens. My hand warmers fit in the ends nicely and the colors match any jacket I happen to wear.
My oldest, as everyone in the world knows by now, is a hockey/baseball player. The trouble with being a baseball player in Alaska is . . . its a very short season! Hockey however, begins in August and goes into March. Then there are tryouts and camps and other skating opportunities thrown in there all spring and summer.
Right now, he plays comp hockey at the Bantam AAA level and high school hockey. He has also just applied to be on Team Alaska for the Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse (Canada). His comp experience is rough and he doesn't always love his team mates, and they do not always love him either. They have been playing together for many, MANY years. BUT his high school team makes him VERY HAPPY!
That is why his freshly broken ankle is such a heart breaker!
It started with a Friday night game against an out of town team of BIG boys. Jason is the starting center for the high school team as a Freshman. That is how much he loves the game. At the end of the 2nd period, one of his team mates goes in for a big check . . . but he didn't see little Jason behind the kid he was going in for. The player from the other team moved out of the way and Jason was hit instead. My heart sunk. I wanted to run onto the ice - but you just can't do that. The team has 3 coaches and a trainer. I ran down to the rink doors and then turned away. He just got cleared after a slight concussion and this was his first day back. His body went limp on the ice and I heard gasps in the crowd. One man said, "holy cow, he isn't even moving." I was with my friend at the time and she was very comforting. I have to admit, I flew right past family and went straight to her - I even bypassed my husband. I knew he didn't need to see the mommy panic, he panics enough for his first born.
We had just, the day before, replaced his 4 year old helmet too with some grand concussion helmet. He was fighting us on wearing it, saying it felt weird, but his coach wouldn't let him trade it out. Thank You John! That helmet saved my boy, I know it. The player that hit him is more than double Jason's weight and a foot taller.
My brother happened to be at the game that night and another players dad, both EMT's. Thank you Kev and Chad.
When my friend Heidi found me, it was to inform me they called an ambulance. At no point did I know what was going on. All I saw was the hit and my family going out to take care of my boy. John was first to him, though Jason has no idea. To hear John tell the story it is even more frightening. His heart dropped as well when he saw the hit and Jason go down. That was the moment I knew John was more family than just another person we took into our home. Jason doesn't remember talking to John or answering questions. He only remembers the trainer, Jeremy - who was the 2nd or 3rd person to him.
My brother and Chad swooped in and took over. Then Jay flew out onto the ice and Jason said, "Dad, tell them I'm okay." After 10 minutes or so I still hadn't heard what was going on. I watched more EMT's come in the door, but no one rushed out to the ice. My boy was in the best hands already. My town has great emergency medical staff. My husband convinced them to help Jason up and get him off of the ice and into the locker room. They let the clock run down and the second period ended. Jason sat up with his team in the locker room and they had a meeting.
He told the boy that hit him not to think about it. Just think about the next period . . . the next game. I still hadn't seen Jason at this point. Once the third period began and Jason didn't come out on of the locker room, I went in. Just in time to see them doing a concussion test - WHICH HE PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS!
Not only did Chad clear him, the ambulance staff cleared him and his trainer. He told them he was sore in the neck and shoulder, but upon examining him, they found no reason to believe there was an injury.
The boy put on his gear and went back on the ice! He played the third period, almost every shift. He was a lightening bolt out there. I was mortified and amazed.
The next day he broke his ankle.
The second game of the weekend and he took a couple nasty hits. One gave him what he calls a "dead arm" and he was having trouble stopping the puck with his stick . . . so he threw his body down to block a shot. One slap shot from a 16-17 year old boy. He got helped off of the ice, sat for a few shifts and was right back at it! I assumed all was well and let him go to a movie after the game.
He woke up the next morning with a swollen ankle, but he had another game - so off he went. He played a hard three periods and then off to the ER.
My son is anything but normal.
I am emotionally drained and could use some sleep. Especially with no one sleeping around the house due to various colds and ailments. I've been up since 3am myself and now have a full day of kiddos.
Hockey breaks my heart and makes my day. I love it and hate it. Many times I can't watch and I find myself pacing behind the crowd.
Thank you Bauer, for keeping my child's noggin' safe.