Three weeks ago today is the last hockey tournament we had and the last time I drank. Now here we are again. It’s the State hockey tournament for my son’s midget hockey team. This could be the last hockey tournament I go to, at least to watch my own kids play. I’m not sure what my son is going to do next year. My oldest started playing in 1999 and we’ve been on the road and in the stands from October to March every year since. This is also the first time this year that my whole family is together on a trip. Between work for me and my wife, my son at college, and other family and school commitments it’s been hard to do. I am thankful that I’m sober and present.
Yesterday as Martial and I were leaving for his game, we met up at the elevator with the goalie from his team (17 year old kid). He had a frosty bottle of grey goose in one hand and an equally icy bottle of captain morgan in the other. Oh boy. Of course he was telling Martial that these were his and he was ready to party. And I was about to get sucked in to this babble, but I finally asked him what he thought he was doing and he said they were for his parents. Then when we got off the elevator, his stepdad was there and he proceeded to pour the booze in to coffee cups so he could bring it in to the arena and keep the party going. My son was just disgusted. He takes hockey seriously and he turns his nose up at this kind of nonsense. I never was one to ask my kids to go make me drinks and get me beers. But they’ve certainly seen me be that guy in the lobby, and in the arena, and on the bus, and in the restaurant, and around the pool, and in the room. Today, I’m thankful that it wasn’t me waiting for him in the lobby.
Things in the room were a little chaotic yesterday evening and I decided that I needed to get out and go for a walk. It is an absolutely beautiful spring evening. We’ve been spoiled here in Minnesota this year. One of the things that I always do on hockey trips is try to get my bearings around the hotel that we’re staying in. Mostly this means trying to find the liquor store. I found myself walking and wondering where the liquor store is. For a quick minute I imagined picking up a 375 and how I could sneak it in and drink it without getting “caught”. Fortunately, I let out that breath and moved on to the next. I got a coffee at Caribou and went back to the room. Between the room and the game, then going to dinner with my family after; I was feeling pretty raw. I needed to find a happy place to put some distance between me and everyone else. I kicked them all out of the bedroom and read for a while. I slept. Not well, but sober anyways.
I feel great today. My girls and I got up and went for a walk this morning, got coffee, and I came back to write. We’re getting ready to get lunch and go to todays game. I still have issues. I always will but I’m facing them with a clear head and a happy family. I’m a lucky guy.