I’m curled up on the bleachers by myself with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and a chip on my shoulder. It’s too early to be alive.
On the other side of the arena I can see that group of sparkly moms who look like they just walked out of a magazine advertisement. They’re all smiling and happy and awake. How can they look so put together at this time in the morning??
I’m lucky to be here. My alarm went off early and I groaned. Then, with my eyes only half open, I felt my way into the bathroom to put cold water on my face in hopes of waking up. It didn’t help.
I got into the kitchen to find a smiling kid, excited for hockey, who was waiting patiently for his breakfast. I quickly made him a waffle while my coffee brewed.
I growled and groaned a little more as I went back to my bedroom to get dressed. “This is insanity,” I muttered to myself as I put my socks on inside-out. Damnit.
I sucked back my first cup of coffee while my son cleaned up from breakfast and brushed his teeth. And we were off to the rink.
As I sit here shivering in the cold rink (because they won’t turn the heaters on above the bleachers this early in the season), I wonder if I put my shirt on inside-out as well. But my jacket is covering it, so I don’t care.
I look across the rink at the sparkly moms who are talking and laughing as though it’s noon. Their hair is done, they all have makeup on, and they look like the quintessential glamorous hockey moms. I hate morning people.
I feel shitty about myself right now. I wish I could be at home, curled up in bed with my book, waiting for my son to get dressed before school.
And then I realize that I still have to take him to school – looking like this. People are going to wonder why I look like I went through a meat grinder. My friends will understand when I say, “early morning hockey practice.”
I dread the idea of bumping into the sparkly moms. We’re always cordial, but we don’t like each other. We only tolerate each other because our kids play together. At the end of the season, we won’t give each other the time of day. And I’m okay with that.
I dread bumping into the teachers at my son’s school too. They’ll probably look at me funny and wonder why I don’t seem put together yet at 8:30am. And I’ll want to scream, “BECAUSE I’VE BEEN UP SINCE 5AM!” But I can’t scream or they’ll kick me off the property because I seem insane.
I wonder if I can just drop my son off without getting out of my vehicle…?
Did I pack his lunch…?
Is his homework in his backpack…?
Did he even have any homework because I don’t remember him doing any last night…?
There’s a bang on the boards in front me, snapping me back into the moment and I realize my kid and another kid went flying into the boards, caught up in each other’s sticks. I see my kid smiling up at me from the ice. He’s happy just to be here. He’s content to play a scrimmage game with his buddies before school. He gives me a quick thumbs up before he skates back to his defensive position on the ice and I realize why this is all worth it.
Sparkly moms be damned.