Sunday, December 16, 2018

Goalie Parenting

I just did a quick search, and it turns have written before about being the parent of a hockey goalie, but not lately.

If you're curious, this fact remains: of all of my identities -- teacher, reader, runner, writer, minivan driver, etc. -- hockey goalie parent may be my least favorite one. Mac is the hockey goalie, and I am his parent.

What happens when I'm watching is this: First, I try to convince myself up to be normal and calm during the hockey game. This is difficult given my naturally high-strung temperament. I'm like a Border Collie in mundane situations, so you can imagine what I'm like under stress.

Still, sometimes, I can remain calm for an entire period of hockey. It helps if the period lasts fewer than 15 minutes and if there are fewer than ten shots during the period. It also helps if I'm chit-chatting with someone or engaged in texting. But, sometimes, instead of remaining calm, tension starts to paralyze my limbs, filling them as if they were PVC pipes. The pucks start sailing at Mac, and suddenly I'm hyperventilating.

Later, I get up a lot to walk laps of the arena or get a drink or visit the bathroom even though I don't have to go. These are coping strategies, and other parents seem to understand. They understand even though Dan is able to watch the whole games like a normal person. Of course in real life, he's like a Great Dane, a couch dog with boundless objectivity and powers of reason. I'm the Border Collie, remember? The one who needs ten hours of exercise and a shock collar?

My ability to sit still dissipates depending on the frequency of the hockey games. If I have at least 48 hours between games to reset and refuel, there's a good chance I can endure in the stands for another full period of hockey. If it's been, say, a tournament weekend with four games in 36 hours, I'm back to pacing and visiting the concession stand within seconds of the puck drop and with increasing frequency in direct proportion to the number of shots on goal.

1 comment:

LH said...

I love the border collie vs great dane metaphors.

I wonder what kind of dog I would be?