A hot topic in the news a year ago was if kids needed a rest from hockey in the summer. The debate was around the fact that we weren’t giving our kids a much-needed break to miss the sport. I guess the Hockey Gods found a way to give us a reprieve whether we wanted one or not. Now the hot topic is if our kids will ever get to play as much as they used to.
It has been extremely hot in Ontario over the past few weeks and I can’t imagine throwing equipment on to play a game. My family did not have a pool or air conditioning when we grew up and my Mom used to tell us to just sit still if the heat was getting to us. If we were going to bed and complained of being too hot, she’d tell us to put a cool face cloth on our heads. From my recollection, the cloth was usually warm after 30 seconds and it didn’t work. Heat was just something we lived with and it never hindered us getting outside to play.
In our house hockey was a year-round sport and so were many other games. The only difference was that they weren’t “organized” sports back then. We made up our own teams and created our own schedule. Road hockey in the summer was usually the winner but we’d also play baseball, Marco Polo in the neighbour’s pool and we’d have races to the Ice Cream Man’s freezer on wheels. Not only did my brothers play road hockey with the neighbours, they also had to borrow their nets.
We lived on a cul-de-sac along with a ton of other kids to play with. In the summer they’d all play road hockey for hours. We had the perfect street because there was very little traffic on the road. My brothers always depended on their one friend to bring out his “real” hockey nets. If they didn’t have his net to play with, they’d use a pair of old shoes on either side of the goalie. If someone scored it meant they were chasing that tennis ball down the street endlessly before the play could start again. Some of my favourite sounds from the “dog days of summer” were the boys yelling “CAR!” and the bells of the ice cream man coming up the street. Everything was so simple back then as it was all about the ice cream man and a little bit of road hockey.
Hopefully in all of this craziness we have found a way to come back to the simple dog days of summer with our families. Swimming until our hands are shriveled up, baseball until our knees are scraped, the sounds of the bells from the ice cream truck, and, of course, road hockey with the echo of a child yelling “CAR” in the streets. I’m fairly sure there is no fear of “too much hockey” this year. If you have to create your own summer league on the street, that’s okay – it’s much cheaper and so much fun.
- Written by Allyson Tufts
Image source: www.thewhig.com