Sports Stuff

June 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm (High School Wrestling) (, , , , , , )

I was talking with someone the other day who I thought was a lot like me.  Single mother, teenagers, having some problems with her teens, etc etc and so on and so forth.  I was telling her about how I was very upset that my youngest son wasn’t playing baseball this season because he messed up his grades.  I was telling her how much I missed it and how sad I was that he cheated himself out of his Freshman season.  I quickly found out we had nothing in common when this mother looked at me dead in the face and said “I’m so thankful I never had to go through any of that sports stuff with my kids”. 

~Cue needle being dragged across a vinyl record~ 

She said “sports stuff” with the tone of voice you get when you step in dog poo.  It was almost like time stood still for a minute.   What?  How?  Why?  Who ARE you?  

I don’t really get where she’s coming from. If it weren’t for all this “sports stuff”, I wouldn’t feel like I had a place in my boys’ lives at all, save my duties as a maid and chauffeur.  At the risk of sounding like a bumper sticker, that’s pretty much all I feel good for some days.  

My boys are 16 and 17.  They are trying to figure out who they are and their place in the world.  They don’t really want me around for that.  They are going through the rituals and rites of passage of the American male teenager…you just don’t let your Mom tag along for that kind of stuff.  My youngest got in a fight to prove himself against some kids who were pushing him around.  He did it on his own.  I was mortified when I found out of course, and that’s why he didn’t let me find out until later.  My oldest is having some issues with girls.  What would normally (normally being pre-15 years old) be something he came to me for advice on, he’s working out himself and with the help of his buds. 

 They don’t really want to share anything with me these days except my food and my vehicle. 

But for some reason they love it that I’m involved with wrestling.  When my oldest was going through a tough time recently and I thought he’d quit the team, I told him I might as well quit too.  I think that was the only time I saw tears from him during what he was going through.  “You can’t quit, Mom”.  Which was loudly seconded by my youngest son.  For several weeks. 

Maybe someday when they are grown and have some distance from all the teenage angst, I’ll find out why they were ok with it when they usually didn’t want me around for anything else.  I have made some amazing friends throughout the years and we have shared memories of our kids doing amazing things.  My boys and I have had many, many car rides to faraway lands back and forth to their events.  And every parent knows the car is the best place to talk to your kids.  We have basked in the glow of their victories and I have nursed them through painful defeats.  

They have learned some things about how to be a man and how not to be a man from the myriad of coaches they’ve had over the years.  They’ve made great friends who they will always remember.  They’ve made friends with kids from other schools, taken road trips to places they would never normally go, and learned a lot of important life lessons out there on the fields and in the gyms.

 Now and always, I will treasure every soccer goal, every inning pitched, every play of their football games, every wrestling match.  Every.  Single.  One.   It’s totally worth all the work for wrestling, all the hours spent watching football and soccer and baseball in EVERY kind of weather, all the miles put on my car and all the Saturdays spent.  

They do have other interests like drawing and music and long boarding, but I have to say, all this “sports stuff” has been really good to me.  I can’t really imagine what our lives would have been like without it.

 

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