I’m currently sitting on a bench at our local ice rink waiting for Judah to finish his last day of hockey camp. While the middle two watch a movie on the iPad, and the baby fights sleep, I watch the bigger kids (the “real” hockey players) skate.
The way camp is set up is the beginning skaters and the beginning hockey players share the ice for an hour, each using half the rink, and then they go outside to the soccer field next door to run off some additional energy. So, Judah has started his days in full hockey pads before changing and going outside.
Now, the older kids are on the ice and I’m watching them put through various drills to help with their hockey skating skills. I have no idea what they’re doing, but every so often they return to “my” side of the ice to bang their sticks on the walls and ice in a “We will rock you (bang bang slap)” pattern. It’s really adorable, but also highly frustrating while trying to rock a two month old to sleep.
As they skate around, I’m heartened. There are so many girls in hockey pads!
I don’t say this to be sexist or feminist or whatever, but because I’m genuinely surprised. Growing up in Florida, hockey wasn’t one of those major sports we focused on. Sure, we had knew about hockey (Heck, I couldn’t tell you how many Florida Panthers games I’ve been to.), but football, soccer, basketball, and baseball were the more common sports.
That’s not to say that my high school didn’t have a hockey team. In fact, I think we were one of the very few high schools with a hockey team, let alone having a varsity, JV, and freshman team.
And, despite having so many opportunities, there was only ONE girl on the team. The same girl, my classmate, and she was the only girl in her family of hockey playing brothers.
Hockey just wasn’t a sport that was common for me growing up, and definitely not for a girl. So to see so many girls out skating on the rink, it’s exciting for me to see. These girls are tough, and not just because hockey can be tough and dangerous. Because they picked a sport they liked, and they’re sticking with it. I wish I could say the same of my boys.
I don’t want anyone to think that I’m impressed that girls are tough or anything. Because, as a girl who’s birthed four boys, I can attest to the toughness of girls. But as a boy mom, it’s hard to remember what girls are into.
When I was growing up, I played with Barbies. I danced for nine years, ballet and tap. I was a cheerleader after that. I was “girly.” For Christmas, my list consisted of make-up, pretty outfits, and more Barbies.
Now, after six years as a boy mom, I have NO idea what girls like.
Example: Earlier this summer, Judah was invited to a classmate’s birthday party. I RSVP’d yes and forgot about it until a few days before when I needed to buy a gift. Usually, I’d head to Walmart or Target and buy a Lego set, but having never met the birthday girl, I couldn’t be sure that she’d like Legos. Heck, I didn’t know if she’d even play with dolls. I mean, what do six year old girls even like nowadays? It was a conundrum. In the end, I settled for a Supergirl or Wonder Woman doll. I don’t know if she even liked it, but I bet her brother appreciated it. (She was one of a set of girl, girl, boy triplets.)
Honestly, if (and that’s a big BIG if) we had a girl, I don’t think I’d even know what to do anymore. I’ve become a total boy mom.
And I’m perfectly okay with that.