It’s August. The kids’ hockey bags, which cover one-third of the living-room rug from September to April, are stashed somewhere in the basement. (When we dig them out in a few weeks, we’ll probably find mold in some of them.) It’s been four months since anyone in our family set foot in a skating rink. Instead, we’ve been frequenting baseball diamonds, turf lacrosse fields, theaters (with stages, not movie screens), the bicycle paths of Cape Cod, the hiking trails of the White Mountains, and the woodsy grounds of our favorite day camp.
There are countless summer hockey programs in the Boston area, and if we’d asked our children if they wanted to participate in one of them, they probably would have said, "Of course!" And if one of our children had specifically asked to continue playing hockey during the summer, we would have said, "OK! Play on!" But when the hockey season ended, they didn’t ask to keep playing (they assumed that the last game was truly the last game), and my wife and I didn’t nudge them toward off-season hockey opportunities. Why? Because there’s no time for hockey in the summer. Other activities that they love — summer activi