Are you a “hockey mom” or a “soccer mom”?

October 1, 2010

The New Oxford Dictionary has added a whole wack of new words to the dictionary this year, and while I can’t muster a tonne of enthusiasm that “bromance” and “hashtag” made the list, I am excited that moms have a new definition for our activities. This year, “hockey mom” made the list:

hockey mom n. informal a mother who devotes a great deal of time and effort to supporting her children’s participation in ice hockey.

Now, obviously a hockey mom is much more devoted than a “soccer mom,” which Merriam Webster defines as:

soccer mom n. a typically suburban mother who accompanies her children to their soccer games and is considered as part of a significant voting bloc or demographic group

Obviously we soccer moms are just stuck in our situations, whereas hockey moms put the drive into driving your kid to sports.

My kids don’t play hockey, but even if the definition applies to other sports, I think I’m much more of a soccer mom than a hockey mom. But boy, do I know a lot of hockey moms!

Last summer, when I was coaching Little League baseball, we had a dad who really pushed for his kid on our team, and we called him a “hockey dad.” Can’t find that one in online dictionaries, but I always thought the hockey dad was the guy who pushed so hard that he got into fights with other hockey dads and coaches to get his kid more play time. Obviously, that is not the hockey mom.

Soccer mom was a term invented to define mostly baby boomer suburban moms, so it’s nice to see that we Gen X moms now have a term all our own.


My twentieth Terry Fox Run

September 20, 2010

I ran the Terry Fox Run this morning with my family, and it was the 20th run that I have done. I’m proud that we raised money for cancer research, I’m proud that we ran (the kids completed the 3K route with parents lagging behind), but mostly I’m proud that I am able to pass on this tradition to my children.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run. I can’t believe I missed the first ten, but I have made a point of doing this run every year since 1991. I’ve run it in Ottawa, in Kelowna, in Winnipeg, and in Vancouver. Wherever I was, wherever my family was travelling that weekend, we always got to a run site.

Why do I do this? Well yes, it’s a good cause. A wonderful cause. Nearly all the money raised goes directly to funding innovative cancer research. But mostly I do it because Terry Fox was a real hero to me. I was a teenager when he ran across Canada. I was living in Winnipeg then and was really excited about him coming through my city. I wanted to run alongside him when he came through. But of course he never made it to Winnipeg. His run ended in Thunder Bay, about 700 kilometres from my home.

So I run the Terry Fox Run every year to honour my hero. And I drag my family along every year to teach them about Terry and why he is such a wonderful person to look up to. I think I’m even getting through to my kids.


All baseball, all the time

May 17, 2010

I feel like my whole life lately is about baseball. Okay, there’s work in there too, but outside of work, it’s all baseball.

I coach my nine-year-old’s little league team. We are playing (I think I can say “we” as the coach, can’t I?) at a higher level this year, where the kids pitch, they can steal bases, and they practice a lot. In fact, between games and practices, we have baseball 4-5 times a week. Every week. For nine weeks!

And my son is a pretty good ball player, and he’s one of our team’s pitchers. But he needs to work at it, and practice. And that means I’m expected to find extra time at home to practice with him. But I have no extra time these days, mostly because of his baseball schedule!

We took a weekend away recently. It was fun, but not especially relaxing. And where did we go? To Seattle, to watch a Mariners Major League Baseball game.

I’m also trying to organize an outing for a large group of kids and adults. Where to, you ask? Why, to a baseball game to watch the Vancouver Canadians!

At least this week it looks like I have an evening to myself. And how will I spend it? I’ve been asked to sub for an adult team’s softball team. So yup, night off and I’ll be playing — you guessed it — baseball.

Good thing I like baseball.


Downtown smokers — isn’t there a law against this?

April 12, 2010

I have been working downtown now for almost a month, and now that the weather is good and I want to go for a wander at lunch, I’m fed up with the smokers.

Outside every doorway, blocking the sidewalk, is a crowd of smokers puffing their cancer sticks, blowing the smelly smoke towards walkers-by like me.

I thought Vancouver passed a law against smoking within six feet of a doorway. But if such a law exists, it obviously isn’t being enforced anywhere near my office!

On the brighter side, today I biked downtown on my brand new hybrid commuter bike. I love my new bike!


Walking my kids to school, sort of

November 19, 2009

On the days when I work from home, I like to walk my boys to school in the morning. It’s the only chance I have to get to their school while it’s still in session (they go to an aftercare program after school and that’s where I pick them up) and see what’s going on, see the other mommies, and catch up. So I like to walk them to the classroom door, look quickly around the class, check notices, all that stuff.

But my kids make all that hard. We walk to school regularly, and I often take a couple other boys who live along our walking route to save their parents the walk when I can. And so all the boys run ahead of me, only stopping to wait for me to cross the street, then running on ahead. Our last two blocks have no streets to cross, and I can’t keep up with the boys. So by the time we get to the school, they’re already inside.

The other day, I walked four boys in, two of mine and two neighbours. When I reached the school, I checked to make sure the neighbours both got to their classrooms, but both my boys were long gone, having run up the three flights to their floor without waiting for me. And of course that’s fine. I know they’re at school and safely where thy should be. But now there’s no point in me climbing the stairs to their floor, so I miss out on all the social stuff with the other mommies.

It’s great they get the exercize of running/walking to school, but I miss the chatting outside class that we used to have in kindergarten. Ah well…


Oh no, they shook hands at soccer!

October 25, 2009

I’m getting a bit fed up about all the hysteria over H1N1. I know it’s a new strain of flu, and so our susceptibility to it is high. I know it’ll spread fast when it hits, and I know for some people it will be very serious when they get it.

But we get flu every winter. In fact, both my kids already had flu this month, just the old-fashioned kind, not the new-fangled H1N1. And people do get very sick and even die of the other flu strains out there. So they’re all serious, aren’t they?

Yesterday at soccer, my son’s team went over to greet their opponents after the game, and out of habit, hit the hands of the other kids — you know, hands out, walk in a row, hit hands as you pass. But the soccer association has told us not to do that. They say because of H1N1 the boys should bump elbows. And some parents saw the hand touching and freaked.

I think maybe the freaking was kind of overkill. Yes, we should be vigilant this flu season, and yes, if we’ve got sick kids, they should stay home, maybe even a day longer than we might have kept them home in another year. But kids will touch each other, especially in sports. Should we really be all that worried?


I once did a triathlon — there I said it!

October 9, 2009

Last year, when I turned 40, I committed to myself that I would complete a triathlon. I am not terribly athletic nor fit, so it was a huge commitment. I swam occasionally, ran when I had to, and biked lots, as long as no hills were involved (and I live in Vancouver, so you can imagine how little that was). But goshdarnit, I needed a challenge for my 40th to prove I wasn’t really old, so that was it.

So I trained. I actually followed the rules with my Monday-night running group, and even ran mid-week. I got over the hill thing on my bike and got better at cycling. And I swam more. I got help, from the head lifeguard at the pool, from the guy who runs the running clinic, and from my trainer. And from a website about training to run your first tri.

And I did it. My only goals were to finish it, not embarrass myself, and not be last. And I did all three. Despite swimming breast stroke, I came out of the pool about halfway in the group (a very supportive women’s only tri race helped!), off my bike a bit slower, but heck, it’s a mountain bike, and while my run was pretty pathetic and at the end I had absolutely nothing to give, I did cross the finish line in under two hours and there were a dozen people who finished after me.

And sometimes I like to brag about all that. But maybe I talked about it a bit too much last year, because my hubby has threatened that if I say the word “triathlon” again he’ll make me do another one (which I really don’t want to do). My kids try to trick me into saying it all the time now. But today an Olympic triathlete, who went to the same school my kids now attend, is visiting the school and came out early to run with the cross country group, and I was going for a run anyhow so I ran with the kids for 10 minutes myself. So I got to run with a triathlete again today, and got to say triathlon all the time this morning. And I just felt like mentioning my own triathlon effort too, so am writing it here.

But since hubby doesn’t read the blog, and anyhow writing and saying aren’t really the same, right, so I’m safe right? Please don’t make me do another one. Running 40 minutes this morning was hard enough.