Parenting

The hockey-free household

Can Jennifer avoid registering her son in a town that is mad about hockey?

I adore that our son is a natural athlete – unfortunately he's a natural hockey goalie too.

I don’t like hockey.
 
This isn’t an easy thing to admit when you live in a town that is in love with hockey. Boys, girls and grown-ups are all nuts for the game. All of Isaac’s friends play but we’ve been lucky enough to dodge the hockey bullet in our house. 
 
Before you rush to the comments section, please let me explain why I’m robbing our son of this childhood experience.
 
1. Hockey is expensive. Even if we bought used gear, that expense, plus registration fees, the cost of fuel and money spent on food at the rink all add up. With a one income household, I can’t make that expense work.
 
2. I don’t like being cold. Yes, I know I run outdoors all winter, but when I run I’m never cold. Standing indoors in a freezing rink does not appeal to me.
 
3. I love my weekends and weeknights. As a stay-at-home mom, those are the only times when I get any time to myself. And even though my kids don’t sleep in, there are those rare mornings when they don’t get up until 7:00 a.m. and I don’t have to have to wake them up any earlier to drive hours (expensive) to stand in a rink (cold). 
 
Luckily for us, Isaac hasn’t been all that interested in hockey. We’ve kept him busy and active with swimming, soccer and basketball. Until this week, he’d never been on skates and I was hoping to keep it that way. But a school trip to the local outdoor rink and an afternoon spent on a friend’s rink made me realize that maybe I can’t hide him from hockey for the rest of his life. According to his teacher, Isaac buzzed around the rink with his classmates quite well, even refusing the supports because, in his words, they’d slow him down. On Family Day he spent hours in net blocking shots made by a pal’s two very talented young sons. All the way home from his afternoon on the ice, he kept asking when he’d be able to play hockey again. He wasn’t happy with my answer of “I don’t know”, because he’s now smart enough to know that it is my way of trying to change the subject. I do have my fingers crossed for a warm few weeks so that all the ice in the county is melted …
 
What about you? Are there sports or activities that your kids want to play but you have avoided registering them for? How have you avoided it? And if your family is hockey-crazy, why have you chosen hockey — and should I be giving it a chance?