I’m still recovering from my road warrior weekend. In the course of two days, I put almost 400 miles on my car and visited three different rinks. I even got to enjoy a weekday morning commute from Palm Beach to Kendall. Thankfully, it was a holiday week, so traffic was significantly lighter than normal. Needless to say, I left the house at 6:30 am to get there by 8:45, but since there was no traffic we got there at 8:00 am. Of course, with Miami traffic, if I had left ten minutes later I would have been twenty minutes late. Saturday brought four games at two different rinks in central and southern Broward.
Saturday morning kicked off a crazy day of four hockey games at two separate rinks. Fortunately, due to the schedule, I was able to see a at least a period of all four games. It is always hard to divide and conquer with these games. Honestly, I’d rather get to watch all of both of their games than having a weekend off. My Mayor plays with such heart and grit. It is an absolute joy to watch him play with his team. They’re fantastic together… Saturday morning just wasn’t their time.
The best part of the game was when Jake called from BMT. We had to fight to get the Hubby’s attention since he was actively coaching a hockey game when he called. Fortunately, he was able to run over, speak briefly to him before heading back to lead the bench. Unfortunately, he’s still dealing with a cold. I asked him if he’d gone to the infirmary, but he hasn’t gone since he didn’t want to miss a moment. He did get a little choked up telling me that he was homesick and missed the family, but he freaking loves the Air Force. I shared some mom wisdom. We discussed how normal homesickness was and how important it is to learning how to manage his Air Force experience. While he has experienced some homesickness, I want to be clear that he is absolutely loving it!
As I was speaking, I was doing the most hockey mom thing ever. Grabbing my other hockey player, Goalielocks and running to the car so we could get to his game in time. Thankfully, Jake understands the madness of his life. He continues to kick ass on his PT assessments in spite of his cold. I’m so proud of how hard he worked before going to BMT. This preparation set him up to be a successful trainee.
I asked him how he likes his MTIs (drill instructors), his response may surprise you. In a nutshell, he loves them and says that they are awesome. Of course, it helps that his flight is the top PT flight in WOT4. He said that they are helpful, hold them accountable and are invested in their success. On Christmas, the Air Force took great care of them with a Prime Rib dinner with dessert for everyone.
He spent a lot of time speaking about the guys in his FLT and how important they are to him. I’m so glad that his wingman J will most likely be his roomie at tech school. One of his dorm mates also played hockey growing up. Jake was a forward and this AB is a goalie, so they’re trying to orchestrate some type of hockey game in the dorm. At the end of the call, I was so emotional. We miss him so much, but he continues to thrive and is clearly in the right place.
While he is loving his BMT experience, he will continue to face bouts of homesickness. This is where you can help. Every letter counts. On my call, he mentioned receiving a card from a Senior Airman and was a bit star struck that someone of that rank would write him. He asked me if there was a program out there for SrA to support the BMTs. I answered no that card came from a friend of your mom’s. He responded, “wow, that’s awesome. Please tell him thank you.” BG thank you, your card meant everything to him.
By the time I made it to the rink, this road warrior was emotionally drained. I miss him so much and worry about him but had to flip back into hockey mom mode. Plus, Goalielocks and I may or may not have forgotten his stick, which absolutely added to my emotional stress. I’m pretty sure I walked into the rink looking like a zombie. Thank god for my hubby because he came to the rescue with a new stick. And thank god there was a Dunkin’ close by and coffee does cure a lot. When Goalielocks is in net, I am such a wreck. The first game we were going to play was going to be a tough one. I had myself convinced that it would be a blowout, so when it wasn’t I was relieved and happy. Truly, my goalie played great and the game was entertaining and close.
For some reason, the scheduling gods of Florida hockey think it’s a great idea for U16 teams to play games almost back to back. There’s no consideration of the physical stress and the physiology of an adult body playing a tough physical game back to back. Think about it, when is the last time you saw a NHL team play a double header let alone a game back to back. I bet you can’t remember because I can’t either. Needless, we had little chance in the matter. In the fifteen minutes I had between Goalielocks getting undressed and his second game’s call time, I took him and his bestie Leo to Publix. The only thing they could really eat was fruit or protein bar because they didn’t have enough time to eat anything substantive. Ridiculous.
By the time game three of the day started, my emotions have recovered from the fraying of the early afternoon. I was now annoyed with the nonsense that is Florida hockey. Our third game of the day, a midget game, was an absolute shit show through the first two periods. Goalielocks’ team was missing a player due to a skate issue and penalties kept us short handed. Honestly, it was horrible. The great thing about hockey, however, is that there are three periods of play. After a wacky call on my goalie, a tripping call, from moving across his crease to follow the puck and the opponent falling, our team sprang into action. Number 18 was back on the ice with working blades and went to work quickly. In the span of a period, we went from losing a game 2-0 to winning the game 3-2. Never give up!
Of course, I didn’t leave that rink to almost the next day because my Goalie decided to be the turtle in the race to undress post game as opposed to the hare. While I waited for what felt like a century, my husband sent good news from the Ice Den: the Mayor’s game had been delayed. Alas, I may still be able to catch some of his game. Goalielocks did his best to foil these efforts by lallygagging in the locker room. Thankfully, this road warrior may or may not have channeled Michael Schumacher as I drove up I-75 to Ice Den. Victory was mine and I made it to the Mayor’s game by the end of the second period.
The Mayor’s second game of the day, and our family’s fourth of the day, was a much better effort than his team’s effort that morning. What I love about his team and especially his line is how they work together to make things happen. It is clear when watching these boys that they’re playing for each other and not themselves. What could be bad about that? In the end, the Mayor’s team came away with a 7-2 victory and a healthy appetite. Fortunately, there’s a great pizza place down the road where we ended up with some folks from his team. Great food, great people and the greatest sport in the world, what could be bad? In the end, we got home close to 11:00 pm another twelve hour plus day as a road warrior.
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