Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Sports Mom: It's an Acquired Taste.

Being a sports mom, I find myself sitting in the most extreme of conditions in situations that tear my nerves apart, almost nightly. It is not for the faint of heart. I work all day and rush home to a game that will, inevitably, send me nearly into heart failure. Why would I encourage this chaos in a life with four boys? I know it may come as a shock, but it’s by choice! They love this life. And I happen to love watching them do what they love to do. But, I tell them often, if/when the time comes they stop loving it, it’s time to make a change. For now, this is this mom’s Sunday through Saturday and I’m okay with that.

Currently I am gearing up for what may be the busiest basketball season yet with all four boys playing.  The 21 year old is playing college basketball. The 18 year old, who recently wrapped up soccer, will now gear up for his last year of high school varsity basketball. The 15 year old is in the playoffs for football and will transition right into varsity basketball with his brother. The 12 year old is getting ready for his first year of middle school basketball. I think it goes without saying; I will live off popcorn and bottle waters, reek of sweaty gymnasiums and suffer from a severe case of bleacher butt from the end of November until February/March. Yep, it’s ridiculous. Go ahead and say it. I understand your concerns, your opinions, and the chatter of overscheduling.

It won’t be unusual for me to be tuned into college basketball on my phone while running between middle and high school games. If I don’t speak to you, don’t take it personally. I may not even know my name that day. If I look frazzled, it’s because I am. Didn’t you hear? Frazzled is the new glam. If my hair is gray, it’s best not to bring it to my attention. More than likely, I haven’t had time to color it, nor the money, because I was too busy robbing my car cup holders for loose change to get into games because I didn’t have time to go by the ATM.  If you see me in the same shirt two games in a row, just roll with it. I can be superstitious, finding the need to wear the green jacket that brought us luck during the game two days prior. If I look tired, I am. Everydamnday.

You read this and judge me in my choices and that’s ok. I will take time off for myself; sanity breaks if you will. The problem is I hate to miss. Witnessing my kids enjoy doing something so much is priceless to me. This is a window of opportunity that I want to experience and enjoy, because soon it will close. This crazy time, this crazy life of mine is not forever. One by one, the sports seasons will end. One day I will look back with a fondness and miss the chaos. As difficult as it may be for me to see that now when things are at their craziest, I know for certain, I am going to miss these days. So for now, I savor them. I will revel in my frazzled forgetfulness all the while suffering from near heart failure. I will yell and cheer with the intention of supporting my kids, enjoying the double bonus of embarrassing them. I will be okay in my mom sportswear and not dressed to the nines. Do you know how hard it is to climb bleachers in heels? I will spread myself as thin as I possibly can, because that’s what I choose to do. So yeah, it’s a life of sports chaos and I’m living it to the fullest right now.

I type this just one day after watching my 18 year old’s high school soccer team lose in their state semifinals. As the time began to close in on them and defeat was on the horizon, I watched him collapse into a sitting position on the field once 0:00 lit the board. A knot developed in my stomach for him and his teammates who were visibly devastated over the tough loss. I thought to myself, “If my kid is crying, I’m going to cry with him!” But something happened that surprised me. He sat there silent for a minute watching as the other team celebrated on the field beside him. He then stood up and walked over to his teammates who were in tears. He patted them on the back, he hugged them, he shook their hands. Even after the game, he took his role as a captain to heart and offered encouragement and support when it certainly would have been okay for him to be upset alongside them. In that moment, I could not have been more proud of him. Minutes after the game ended, as he approached me waiting by the fence, he greeted me with a hug and a smile. Sure a win would’ve been great, but this was greater.

And, THAT, my friends, makes it all worth it.


The Sports Mom