My kids have reached the age where they’ve started in athletics and are old enough for it to actually be competitive and not just adorable. I would watch the parents of professional athletes on tv specials say things like, “Kobe’s been playing ball since he was two”, yeah, right! I’ve seen plenty of two-year-olds there’s no way that’s true. Then came my boy. His first word was “ball”, which stung because “mama” is clearly a much easier starting place. We have videos of him, 18 months old, diapered, pacifier in his mouth, fully dribbling a little basketball. The boy has literally been playing basketball since he was two! On his first team at age four, he killed it so hard that parents would just marvel at his greatness, while I shrugged my shoulders sort of apologetically and say, “I don’t know where it comes from. He’s been playing since he was two.” Perhaps I’m putting 20 on this whole thing, but that’s pretty much how I remember it.
Big sis, for sure holds her own. She’s not flexible or quite as naturally coordinated as her brother, but like her mom growing up is crazy strong. The girl can, no doubt, out pull-up most anyone. I remember back in the day having arm wrestling and push-up contests with the boys in grade school. Shocking to think I never got asked to the dances. No one was interested in She-Ra with a sense of humor…huh, but I digress…
She enjoyed dance classes, but she’s also a ham, so really it was performing in front of an audience more than the dancing itself. I remember her first mini recital. She was super nervous but made it through her little dances like a champ. When she finished and the crowd cheered and clapped you could visibly see the wave of change wash over her. From timid toddler to Beyonce in ten seconds flat. She had a short stint at soccer, that didn’t stick, and last year we introduced them both to a club track team. This made me super happy as track and field was my jam!
So, as a result of introducing my kids to team sports and learning that they’re actually quite good, I found out a little something about myself. I’m the crazy sports mom. I’m the one out there cupping my hands into a makeshift bullhorn and screaming my head off like a lunatic. These events are full of loving parents snapping photos and recording videos of their children… not me. Why, you ask? Because I am simply too coo-coo to even get anything recorded. I eventually gave up trying because it was the same every time. We’d look and the footage and see kids doing their thing, hear the ridiculous high pitched screeching of an insane woman, the camera waves all around, and the video ends with a 30 second shot of the ground.
Will there come a time when it mellows out? Maybe moms out there who have traveled these roads can enlighten me. I guess that means they’d also have to admit to being that same brand of crazy out in the stands. I know I’m not alone in this, don’t act like you’re not out there. I see you, my sisters. We are now gearing up for the summer basketball league and this week have traveled for baby girl to participate in the JUNIOR OLYMPICS as the Regional Champion in Long Jump!!! I can’t even stand it! She went beyond the regular club team track season to a post-season team, worked her butt off and is now one of the best in the country in her age group. This is not helping me with my “issues”, my friends.
Whoever thought I’d be a snack packin’, shoe researchin’, stat watchin’ sports mom? I don’t know how I didn’t see it coming and yet I’m 100% here fully submitted and committed. Through sports. my kids have made some of their best friends, learned teamwork, sacrifice and the importance of hard work and dedication. They’ve accomplished quite a bit here in their early years of involvement, and its come at a cost on everyone’s part. It’s shown us as parents the value of showing up and just pouring into what they’re passionate about. We both assist in coaching, volunteer, and do all we can to be present for them. It’s priceless. My daughter is 9 and already too cool for school. She won’t even make eye contact when I’m “demonstrating my support”. However, she’s got tells and I know she loves every second of it. The boy is seven, cuddly, sweet, and if only for 15 more minutes still beams with pride at the sound of mom and dad’s cheers. Too cute. They don’t remember “stuff” they just acquired 3 days ago, but I’m pretty confident, attitude and all that my baby girl will be hard pressed to forget how I scooped her up in my arms and twirled her around the football field when she took first place and jumped a personal best in regionals.
With new seasons come new sports and the crazy continues, so we’ll see how it goes. Words of wisdom always welcome.