As we enjoy this month that celebrates Mothers I thought it was the perfect time for the next article in the series called, “Don’t ever underestimate the Power of a Hockey Mom.” My kids will soon be out of their teenage years and as much as I’m enjoying watching them navigate their way into adulthood, I have to say I miss those innocent days when I was their hero and most of the time their #1 choice to spend time with. I think most Mother’s would agree that those years when you are their favourite are priceless.
This past weekend I was filming interviews for an upcoming video series with some hockey Mom’s and their young players. About halfway through the day a Mom walked in with her wide eyed young son. He was very polite and he even greeted me with a smile and a handshake. He was wearing a GONGSHOW hat so I had to peek under the rim to be able to see his little face. He looked around the room staring at the cameras and the lights; you could see he was in awe of the whole thing. My friend doing the filming broke the ice by saying, “Do you have any other interviews today?” The young boy looked up, not realizing he was joking and said, “No, just this one.” His Mom smiled at him as she watched him take his seat. We decided we’d interview them together, sitting side by side. As soon as we told them they could sit together the relief on their faces soon became very clear. When they took their seats the young boy instantly started to fidget, legs swinging, and hands tapping on the chair. Mom gently leaned over and put her hand on his, with that little touch he seemed to instantly calm down. I started to ask him what he loved about hockey. He described the way it feels to be in an exciting game, he talked about his coach, and all of the great friends he’s met. With every answer Mom’s smile seemed to get wider and wider until finally it was her turn. I asked her, “What do you love the most about watching your son play?” She stopped looking at me and she turned to him and said, “Everything! It’s not one specific thing, it’s every time I get to watch him, every time I get to drive him to the games, and every time we go for hot chocolate after, I guess I love it all.” It struck me that none of that had anything to do with wins or losses, it had everything to do with watching her son thrive and more importantly it had everything to do with being with him. I turned to him and said, “What’s the best part of having Mom in the stands watching you?” He said, “I like looking up at her and when I “do good” she has a big smile on her face.” My heart instantly melted and I knew this was a moment I wanted to capture. We asked them if they could get a little closer so we could take a picture. Without any instructions or inhibitions, this bright eyed seven year old boy crawled up on Mom’s lap and put his arm around her. There they sat cheek to cheek with big smiles on their faces ready for their picture.
As I watched them smiling it instantly took me back to so many years ago, before sweet 16, before girlfriends, before hugs were embarrassing, before friends came before Mom and most importantly before the regrets of all the things I wish I would have done differently. I had spent so much time talking about what I wished I had done better that I had forgotten what I loved the most.
I have said so many times that hockey has offered my son so many lessons and so many gifts. I have to say in that moment hockey gave me the gift of remembering what I loved about it. I guess for me the power of being a hockey Mom comes down to the bond it helped to create between me and my young hockey star. To a hockey Mom, our young players will always be our #1 star. So to all of you Mom’s out there, don’t ever underestimate your role in your child’s life, on or off the ice. No matter what they’re trying to accomplish they need to look up and see you smiling, enjoying every moment. Don’t ever underestimate what that smile and the gift of your time does for your child and for you. For all you kids out there, “Don’t ever Underestimate the Power of a Hockey Mom!”
- Written by Allyson Tufts
About the author:
Allyson Tufts is a new author that has had many meaningful careers to date in non-profit, social work, and human resources. Her proudest accomplishment is that of being a wife and mother. She spent many years watching her son and daughter enjoy their extra curricular activities. Nothing could prepare her for the stress of standing behind her son's net for his debut as a goalie. As her experiences as a Hockey Mom started to pile up, she realized that not only were they funny, most importantly, they could be helpful to other parents going through their own experiences watching their kids play. She decided to take the leap and put her stories into her first book and so was born, “Lessons from Behind the Glass”.
Since the launch of the book in 2015, she’s sold thousands of copies in both Canada and the United States. She’s had the opportunity to speak to the senior staff and President of Hockey Canada. Most recently she has partnered with BC Hockey and Hockey Eastern Ontario to create a video series for parents based on the lessons from her book.
This article is the property of Allyson Tufts and is not to be used without her permission. To learn more about Allyson Tufts or to purchase the book, please visit www.lessonsfrombehindtheglass.com.
*photograph source: Memories by Me Photography