The other night we were watching a hockey game and at one point the network was showing re-runs of fighting in the NHL.  I enjoy hockey but I can’t stand to see grown men fight. I hate it with a passion and I said to my husband “turn it off, I can’t stand to watch it.”  My husband turned to me and said ” I bet you could hold your own in a fight.”  He is not all wrong, I’m not a fighter but there have been a few times in my life where I have found myself defending myself with my fists!  Thankfully, I’ve not used my fists as an adult.   One incident came to mind which I repeated to my husband and we had a good laugh.  However, the situation wasn’t really that funny, it was a frustrating time for two children suffering from the trials of their parents’ divorce.

My parents divorced when I was eight years old and eventually both parents remarried. Unfortunately, the divorce was perpetuated by my father’s affair with a woman who eventually became his second wife. When my parents first divorced my father was entitled to visit with his children once a week.  Once a week I was supposed to fit into my father’s new family, find quality time with him and act like everything was normal and we were all one big happy family.   After a few years my mother and her new husband decided to move across the country away from my father.  The deal was that my brother and I visited my father once per year for two weeks.  It was during one of those annual visits that the big fight happened.

Since my father only saw  my brother and I once a year,  he tended to treat me like a bit of a princess.  I don’t think he wanted to be the big disciplinarian when he only saw us once a year, he wanted to enjoy our visits.  One morning he took me aside and told me that to keep peace in the house that I had better start doing chores.  “What chores” I asked.  “Make your bed, help with the dishes, the general run of the mill stuff” he said.  I guess in a way I was being a bit rebellious as the house that my father was now in with his new wife and new family,  was the house where both my parents lived with their children in better times.   Turns out my “stepsister” was complaining because she had to do all this stuff and I just walked away from all responsibilities.  Looking back I get why she was mad but seriously, she was sleeping in my old bedroom, with my father at the helm, the life I wanted.

I just smiled at my father and said “sure I’ll do more stuff around the house.”  At some point just my stepsister and I ended up downstairs watching tv and she started complaining to me about what I got away with and I can remember just hearing, blah, blah, blah.  All I could think of was how she was living the life I was supposed to be living and I had to listen to all this bitching and complaining.  She was tearing me a new one and she stopped  for a brief second to hear what I had to say for myself.   I said the first thing that came to my 15 year old mind;  “That’s what you get because your mother stole my father.”  Did not go over well, next thing I knew my stepsister was flying through the air like a lioness on her prey.  I had no time to defend myself and it took me a few seconds to come to my senses.  She was a nasty fighter, hair puller, slapper, spit in your face kind of classless fighter.  I finally got my wits and threw a few good punches just as my father came down to break up the fight.   Thank God because my stepsister was winning by a mile.  My father wanted to know “what the hell is going on here,” and my stepsister told him what I said.  He just looked at me and I know he didn’t  realize I saw, but I caught the grin on his face as he walked away.

Thinking back, the situation was just as hard for my stepsister as it was for me.   This was her mother’s third marriage, she had been shoved back and forth for years and she probably felt the same way I did. I couldn’t see it at that age, too busy just trying to survive the trials of divorce.  Even though the situation was difficult back then, I learned so much about the kind of parent I wanted to be and the kind of household I wanted to provide for my children.   Hopefully my boys will never have to have a territorial fight just be be heard.


I thought it was about time for another post about my experiences with my hockey team.  As I mentioned before, I joined a women’s hockey team this year;  I’ve never played hockey and I haven’t skated since I was a youngster.  When I first joined this team I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous playing for the first time.  I find most of the women on our team fairly accepting of a newbie but just as starting a new job or being in a social situation where you don’t know anyone, some aren’t so accepting.  Frankly, I’m there to play hockey and whether these women like me or not is of no consequence to me.  I’m learning and I’m improving every game, my skating is getting stronger and I’m not afraid to go after the puck – sounds easy, going after the puck, but when a 6’4 woman is on the opposite end of that puck – not so easy.  I’ve been run down and shoved around more than a few times.  You are absolutely right in what you are thinking – doesn’t sound like a place to get some me time, but for some reason when I’m chasing after that puck and fighting for the puck to stay out of our end – I lose all sense of where I am, I don’t think about anything, work, kids, husband, bills absolutely nothing except getting that bloody puck.  I’m somewhat surprised how much I enjoy it and it was my son who put it into perspective for me.  Before I joined this team, at dinner one night I was talking to my husband and the boys about why I shouldn’t commit to this hockey team and I was using all the excuses that busy mothers use – I don’t have time, I have housework, dinner to cook, laundry to do and I hardly get any time to myself so maybe I should use the time I would be playing hockey to sit down, relax and have a cup of tea! Brendan (my twelve year old and always philosophical) says “you can do that when you’re eighty!”  I have to admit – that hit a nerve with me.  I’ve never played any sport and as a child wanted to join something but there were issues with my parents that made playing sports impossible(long story – another blog).  I sat there for a minute and thought, “he’s right, why not right now!”

It’s certainly not a glamour world this world of hockey.  Let’s just say most of the woman are very natural – no makeup, jewellery, come-as you-are  type of woman.  If you think that men are the aggressors when it comes to sports think again.  A couple of weeks ago we were playing lady sharks (yep – the name of the team – and sharks they can be) a group of extremely aggressive women.  Our team consists mostly of  beginners with a few more experienced players so I guess you can say we don’t make the cut!  We never win and we’re just happy if the score is not 15 – 1.  So these lady sharks come along and they play really hard and really aggressive, they hit and whack their way to goals.  Not really necessary since we’re not a very good team.   It’s nothing personal –  it’s hockey.   At the game a couple of weeks ago against lady sharks, one lady shark in particular was skating around the ice and hacking our team with her stick on the back of our legs.  Back of the legs are exposed as you don’t have any padding there.  She hit one woman from our team at least three times – the fourth  time lady from our team yells at the lady shark – “excuse me, but what the hell are you doing?”  Lady shark says “it was an accident!”  “Bullshit” lady from our team says – “an accident happens once not four times, if it was an accident apologize.”  Lady shark refuses to apologize, because that’s what lady sharks do, so our little lady shoves lady shark and lady shark shoves back.  I thought I was going to witness a full-out fight when all of a sudden our little lady skates to our bench and gets her composure back and in a very calm voice says “sorry about that ladies but that woman made me very mad.”   That was the first time I thought of my boys during that game.  The boys get into silly fights all the time – you apologize, no you apologize, you did it not me and then they start shoving!