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Letting Go of Traditions With Your Kids is Not Easy

Hockey rink
Flickr user: Colby Stopa. Calgary, AB
A listener was kind enough to send me an article from the Toronto Globe and Mail entitled “A Hockey Dad’s Last Ride”; it was about being unprepared about breaking bonds you’ve formed with your children. I related to it because I’m a hockey dad and my oldest child is in what will almost certainly his last year of organized hockey, but it could be any sport, or any activity, for that matter.

As a parent, you spend over a decade driving from one rink or diamond or pool or soccer field that something that starts as a pain becomes second nature. And God forbid you have more than one child involved in a travel activity; one year when all three of my kids were involved in activities that all practiced on the same time at the same time, my wife and I used to joke about the constant feeling that you were supposed to be somewhere else.

Of course, hockey has the added benefit of being played in the winter, guaranteeing that some of the road trips would be taken in really crappy weather. Other seemingly annoying occasions, like forgetting his jersey at the hotel and not realizing until we got to the rink and speeding over unplowed, snow covered streets to fetch it and get it to him just in the nick of time, now seem like great bonding events. So if this is my son’s last season, why am I the one who’s sad?

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