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Mom Mondays: The Tape Ball, The Pet Rock of Minor Hockey


What’s the story with kids and their hockey tape balls anyway? Honestly.

I know that I’ve often joked about all the miscellaneous junk lurking at the bottom of a hockey mom’s handbag. Don’t get me started. But now that the hockey season is just about over, I am having moderate to severe panic attacks about what’s waiting to be discovered in the bottom of my daughter’s hockey bag – only because I know too well what “treasures” were lying at the bottom of her brothers’ hockey bags before her.

If you’re a hockey mom, you’re probably the one that’s going through the hockey bag at the end of the season retrieving all the stray items in preparation for the annual deep-cleanse of the hockey equipment. You know you’re going to find all the usual suspects: the mouth guard you replaced three times over and all its soulmates, the army of new SWPs (Socks Without Partners), dryland running and pre-game warmup ritual shoes, shorts and t-shirts, the undergear, the soggy skate towels and likely moldy shower towels, one or seven water bottles, empty Gatorade bottles, entirely full Gatorade bottles and practice jerseys that you know don’t belong to your child because you know for a fact that your child has never been to Edge Hockey School in Airdie, Alberta. The pile grows and the list goes on.

And then there’s the tape ball.

Do you know what I’m talking about? It’s that somewhat spherical mound of hockey tape that your child has created from winding all the pieces removed from their equipment after each game and practice that over the course of the season has grown into a mammoth mess the size of a soccer ball. And don’t even think about throwing it out because this piece of garbage has grown into a cherished possession considered to be as much a part of the family as the family dog. What started out innocently enough at the beginning of the season has now become some kind of status symbol in the locker room, and one that must be maintained into the next hockey season.

If you happen to have come across this “trophy” and in an impulsive and ill-fated moment threw it out, you now have no choice. Instead of taking a warm bath tonight and snuggling up with Netflix, you’re going to be twirling and twisting pieces of hockey tape into what you hope will resemble the one the garbage truck removed from the end of your driveway this morning in hopes that’s your son or daughter doesn’t realize that it’s an impostor tape ball (like the impostor goldfish you tried to pawn off on him after the March Break incident of 2013) while you’re husband looks on and says, “I told you so.”

Like many hockey superstitions, the tape ball is one that I will never fully appreciate but one that I have learned not to question. It’s just one more memory in the day of the life of a hockey mom.

Three cheers for the tape ball – may it live to see the next hockey season.

Tags: minor hockey

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