Hockey Mom, Part 2 | May 3, 2023

My eleven-year-old has one more tournament weekend left in his spring hockey schedule.  I’m the one who packs for hockey tournaments because it requires a certain je ne sais quoi and Kyle does it wrong.  Here is a non-exhaustive list of things a mom needs for a travel hockey tournament:

  • Clothing for your player, including personalized team t-shirts, personalized team long-sleeves, personalized team shorts, personalized team sweatpants, personalized team hat, personalized team socks, personalized team welding coveralls, personalized team swimsuits, personalized team workout jacket, personalized team winter jacket, and sweatshirts from every single past tournament in which your child has ever played
  • Layered clothing for your other children so they can be inside a cold hockey rink and then strip everything off when they get out into the warm spring air without being fully nude (note: they will wear the same t-shirt and pants the entire time but it’s the thought that counts)
  • Twenty-five pairs of underwear so your player can change after each game/every fifteen minutes
  • Shoes to wear to the rink; shoes to wear to the pool (can’t be the same shoes)
  • A blanket and pillows, even though you are paying the hotel to provide them
  • Healthy snacks for your family to eat
  • Garbage snacks for your family to ACTUALLY eat
  • A cooler containing every flavor of Prime (especially white), and also beer
  • One of those bar globes stocked with crystal bottles of brown liquors
  • A backpack filled with toys, tablets, and ministicks for your non-playing child(ren) to open, spread around the floor, ignore, and then forget at the rink
  • A bag of medicinal items to heal 100% of the known and unknown ailments borne by man
  • Hockey equipment, such as jersey(s), pads, breezers, helmet, nut cup, one of those shirts with the Teflon neckpieces that they guy at the store told you don’t need but you know someone who once got a skate to the neck so you’re not taking any chances, hockey socks, regular socks, single extra sock, moldy t-shirt, skates, skate guards, tape, the hockey stick they love, the hockey stick they used to love but has now fallen out of favor because of the new hockey stick they love, deodorant/mouth guard to go unused but add unnecessary weight, and a water bottle with just enough water left in it to soak the bottom of the bag
  • Clothing and toiletries for yourself (optional)

At the last tournament, we checked into the room late at night.  I have a whole rigmarole I do to set up and organize the room – Kyle LOVES this – and I was in the bathroom laying out a little washcloth for everyone’s toothbrushes (Kyle ESPECIALLY loves this) when I realized I had forgotten to pack my makeup.

As noted above, makeup falls into the “optional” category – it’s all for the kids, amirite?!  Except that this particular team is some kind of miracle of biology and is filled with the most beautiful hockey moms the sport has to offer.  You know how during the Olympics someone says, “Hey, we should get a normal person to first run this race so we can understand how truly amazing these Olympians are”?   If we took a group photo of the moms on this team, you’d use me as that normal person…or maybe the photographer.

“Oh, Amanda,” I’m SURE you’re thinking, “You’re being hard on yourself; I’m guessing you are equally lovely.”  Well, a while back, my own mother – who is very much a believer that “beauty comes from within” and “her own children are superior to everyone else’s children” – looked around at this group of supermodel moms (who are also beautiful within, which is incredibly annoying) and said to me,

“These women are so pretty it’s intimidating.”

Obviously, no amount of makeup is going to get me anywhere near “Intimidation” level; but the grading curve is so high that I need that makeup to help me stay in the “Average Human” category and not down in “Ogre Crawling Out from Under a Bridge.”

The next morning, I woke up bright and early and was fully dressed before Kyle and Eleven left for Eleven’s first game.  I piled our seven-year-old into our Honda, raced to Target, bought the cheapest, simplest concoction I could find, and returned to the car satisfied that this whole experience would probably make me even more glamorous than if I had used my normal stuff.

Except here’s the thing: My normal stuff includes a magnifying mirror.  This magnifying mirror is important so that I can obsess over my flaws precisely apply my makeup.  Also, it’s important because without it I can’t really see my face.

According to the American Optometric Association, “Beginning in the early to mid-40s, many adults may start to have problems seeing clearly at close distances, especially when reading and working on the computer.  This is among the most common problems adults develop between ages 41 to 60.”  Here’s a fun fact: I’m 43.  Do I use reading glasses?  No, I do not.  Do I need reading glasses?  Um, sorry, what was the question?

So, there I was, with only a non-magnifying car mirror and my own eyeballs standing between me and a sack of makeup PROBABLY GUARANTEED to make me Intimidation Beautiful.

First I tried squinting, which wasn’t suuuuper helpful for applying eyeliner.  Then I tried mind over matter and attempted to will myself into seeing clearly.  Finally, I did that thing where you tilt your head back (my fellow olds will know what I’m talking about), which worked.  Or at least worked enough to get makeup onto my face.

I leaned back in my chair and realized that an elderly gentleman was standing in front of my car, watching me through the windshield.  I smiled and gave him an eyebrow-raised thumbs-up as if to say, “Eh?”  He shrugged and walked off.

“How do I look?”  I asked Seven.

“Good,” he said, without looking up from his tablet.

“Great,” I said.

“Why do you need makeup?”  He asked.

“Because I want to be pretty,” I said.

“You’re pretty all the time,” he said.

“That’s the right answer,” I said.

“…Except sometimes you aren’t pretty,” he said.

“Well, we can’t win every battle,” I said, pulling out of the parking lot.  “We just need to win the war.”

The photo was taken by my husband during the winter season. Here’s a fact about Kyle: It’s his birthday on Friday! If you feel like it, send him a message on Twitter.

For the past year, NDSU mechanical engineering students have worked to design Parker Sebens a tool to allow him to man a kayak without using his arms. (Fargo Forum)

Lakota’s Emma Jutila is 10 years old and the recipient of the Ever Forward Volunteer Champion Award for giving her time at the local nursing home. (Grand Forks Herald)

Woot woot!  It’s seedin’ time! (KFYR TV)

Can’t have the news without Hankinson’s Cody Mauch! Cody was taken in the second round of the NFL draft after being a walk-on at NDSU. (Facebook) (USA Today)

Ohmergersh, I LOVE roller skating. (KFYR TV)

Four Vietnam vets – Gary Benjamin, Larry Young, Don Schultz, and Wayne Berglund – shared their wartime experiences with a Central High School journalism class.

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