Needless to say, there are a lot of things I have had to learn over the past 7.5 years as mom to two rambunctious, active, sports-loving boys. I have held my own and gone with the flow and figured things out and let Will take them on camping trips and ice fishing and so on. I know the basics of soccer and baseball and basketball; well, enough to get them dressed, to the field and clap and cheer when appropriate.
But this year I have been on a steep learning curve after a Rookie season of hockey for one kid and the other kid starting tae kwon do. I knew nothing about either of these sports until this year…I still know very little, but I have learned quite a bit.
I have learned that on time for hockey means fully dressed and ready to take the ice 15 minutes before practice starts. Not easy for this never on time parent; thank goodness for Will.
I have learned how to fully dress my son for hockey; to tape socks and sticks; to form a new mouth guard and effectively clean hockey equipment;
I have learned to always carry a blanket to sit on and wear a coat zipped up and gloves on hands for practices, scrimmages and games and it matters not what I wear since I will be wearing said coat throughout practice, regardless of the weather outside.
I have learned that weekends from September through early March are dictated by each weekend's hockey practice times.
I have learned that one must repeatedly tell a 5 year old hockey player that a dining room table is not the appropriate place for leaving his protective cup insert.
I have learned that skates should be sharpened about twice each season…or more if skating outside often.
I have learned that hockey parents have a whole community and are quite dedicated to this sport.
I have learned to tie a tae kwon do belt.
I have learned to count in Korean.
I have learned how sparring gear goes on.
I have learned various forms, kicks and stances.
I have learned taekwondo etiquette and rules and oaths.
I have learned that it's best to come to class at least four times in the week leading up to a test.
I have learned that it's inevitable that on the day I just washed the white, not easy to keep spotless, tae kwon do uniform, my son will fall on the dirty sidewalk or splash through a dirty puddle on his way into class.
I have learned that it takes a lot of scheduling and fortitude and diligence to get to all these practices and classes…by all of us.
I have learned to have snacks in the car for before and after practices and classes…for both the participant brother and the watching brother.
I have learned that my boys are stronger and bolder and more courageous and tenacious than I imagined or I ever was at their ages.
I have learned how proud a parent can be when she sees her children stretching themselves and going forward despite fear or anxiety or nerves.
I have learned how dedicated and determined my children can be when pursuing something they are passionate about and how proud they are when they have accomplished a new task.
I have learned that I can meet new friends and connect with old ones through my kids' sports.
I have learned that I can work on my computer or read or chat with friends or totally veg out while sitting cross-legged and barefoot on the carpeted floor during tae kwon do classes.
I have learned that working the chuck-a-puck table is the best volunteer position because I can sit quietly and read in between sales.
I have learned that it's very important to my boys that they can see my face, as I sit there rooting for them.
I have learned that being a boy mom is a pretty good gig after all.
Next up is soccer and baseball. A whole new scheduling challenge, but at least I understand these sports better. Over and out…