Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Supporting My Little Athlete

For a person who spends about a third of almost every day either watching, writing about, thinking about or tweeting about sports I am not terribly athletic.

Yeah, I know it is ironic. So is the fact that I am a tall girl who often gets asked to play basketball even thought I have never mastered the art of dribbling.

I've said too much.

I guess I really wanted to tell you that so that I could help explain I passed on no coordination or strength genes to my children. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with my kids, they are very smart, they have quick wits, one of them (no names) has a real musicals gifts, they are creative and they are both good at math.

The math thing they get from their father, I like to take credit for all of the the other things.

We signed the twins up for tee-ball and it was okay. They played for a few seasons and then moved up to Single A. Single A is machine pitch and it was a nightmare. One of my children (again who I won't name) didn't get a single hit all season - didn't even get a piece of the ball. It was torture for both of them. The best games were the ones that got rained out.

The next year they decided that they would rather play soccer. It was a breath of fresh air. They were really seeming to enjoy it, and while neither of my kids was a superstar they both played hard and had fun.

And then they put my baby in as goalie.

I'm not sure how we didn't see it coming, the coach was rotating all of the children and letting them play all of the positions, but I honestly wasn't expecting it.

There was my sweet, uncoordinated, unsure of himself son, all alone in that HUGE GOAL. I felt sick to my stomach. How does Hope Solo's mom do it? Martin Brodeur's mother? Peter Schmeichel's parents? I got light headed until I realized I was holding my breath.

Then they blew the whistle to start play.

At first everything was cool and the Sparrow offense kept the ball on the other end of the field.

Oh yeah, we were the Sparrows. Not the toughest name in soccer, but still better than Orangemen, Hokies or Gamecocks, so hush.

Then the other team (The Owls, there was a bird theme for the 8 and unders) got the ball and kicked it over toward my son.

I started holding my breath again.

Then it happened. Some kid made a shot on goal.

Ian stopped it with his face.

This is where the needing the Kleenex comes in. We both cried.

But then we dried our tears and he got back in the goal and even though they scored on him, he hung in there and was a trooper. I was so proud of him.

See that picture up there? That is what I am putting on my Kleenex oval.

I think that supporting your little athletes and team sports are such and important part of growing up. They aren't always easy, but you will always learn new skills, even if those skills are sucking it up and getting back to work. Both of my kids have agreed to play soccer again in the spring, but first, winter basketball. I mean, really, somebody in this family should know how to dribble.

 * *  Get a Kleenex custom oval BOGO until 11/15/12, just use the code PLAYOFFS at checkout on the Kleenex site. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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