Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Parental Indentured Servitude

This past weekend was one of those that inspire awe from both ends, coming and going, and not always the good kind. When you anticipate what’s coming, you wonder how you got yourself into this predicament and that you’ll never be able to pull it off. When it’s finally over, you reflect in amazement that you came out in one piece. The kids don’t seem to mind, though they don’t have a complete grasp of the logistics, but that’s what being a kid is all about, right?

We had both kids involved in big hockey weekends, and it required lots of early mornings and busy days. N had a big tournament, and it went from Friday to Sunday. They played amazingly well and had a great time. It was a nice way to end the season, and they almost won the championship, losing the final game on Sunday. The parents came out in full force and the audience was raucous and supportive, so the kids got a huge kick out of it. They gave out trophies to the second place teams and a banner, and I know N has been itching to get a trophy since he started playing hockey. He finally got his wish.

As much as the tournament was fun, I was doing double duty on the hockey parent front. N had two games every day, and I helped out with running the tournament, as did numerous other parents. I volunteered to run the scoring the booth, one shift that required me to be there at 6:30AM! That’s the thing about tournaments, they are fun and bring in money to the program, but they require tons of volunteer work to make it happen. That’s on top of coaching duties and transporting kids.

A didn’t take part in the tournament because she is in an older division. Plus, her team has the big state championship to prepare for. The coach IC didn’t want them idle for too long before the big game, so he arranged for the team to play in Plattsburgh, NY, which is about 3 hours away and includes a ferry ride. To make it worthwhile, they nabbed a doubleheader, which meant an entire day in NY. Fortunately, they arranged a caravan to the arena.

With the first game at 10:00, that meant getting A to the meeting point at 6:00AM, which meant getting up at 4:30. A is a trooper, she gets up and ready at the drop of a hat, so there were no problems getting there. The girls were thrilled and excited, and can you blame them? An entire day hanging out with your buddies playing hockey and eating pizza, you can’t beat it. The games went well, the other team even provided pizza for the whole team in appreciation of going up there, and if that’s not enough, A’s team tied both games. What a great matchup.

After I dropped A off, I had time to kill since it was so early. N had a game at 10:00, and I was originally prepared to go home and get him, but R said she would bring him, leaving me free to, you guessed it, volunteer for the tournament. It actually worked out well because the early morning time slot is one that nobody is lining up to fill. I did the first shift on Friday and Saturday, and I didn’t mind. I was up and in the area, anyway.

Truth be told, I enjoy watching hockey, more so with our kids than the NHL, it’s just the time drain and the opportunity cost are enormous. Nonetheless, it is fun, and the kids love it, so for now, it works. Who knows where we’ll be on this issue next year.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Pookie & Schnookie for the pic.

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