I never wanted to be a hockey parent. The idea of early mornings, weekends and evenings sitting on hard cold benches watching other parents freaking on their kids and coaches just did not hold any appeal. But, here I am, sitting on a bench at 7am, watching thirty or so little boys (and a couple of little girls) skating around after a bunch of little black disks. And you know what. I actually kind of like it. All those years of hearing about how bad and boring this hockey parent thing is, and here I am enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong. The benches are still hard, and it still is pretty cold, but there is a part of me that is loving the camaraderie amongst the parents, huddled around our coffee and watching our little guys as they bump around chasing each other and the pucks, big smiles on their faces. I feel like I’m in a Tim Horton’s commercial (even though I’m drinking tea), and the corniness of it, while not lost on me, doesn’t bother me. I am beginning to understand the appeal of minor hockey in Canada. It isn’t just about kids, or skating, or coffee in the morning. It’s about community and continuity. The tradition of hockey is played out in small towns across the country, linking each player and family in a chain across a country of geographic, economic and ethnic diversity. By coming to this practice, in this arena, my son and I and all the rest of us are a little bit of our history. We are the threads binding the hockey jersey that is our country together. Check out Squamish Minor Hockey.