It’s not about yelling like you’re a creature from a Spielberg movie. It’s not about winning or losing, although winning is a great feeling.
Years ago, during my first year of University, I enrolled in a selected topics American History class, and one of the first units we delved into was, “Sport As Religion in North America”.
Little did I know then that I would raise a child who would prove this theory true.
Welcome to the kingdom and community of little league sports.
Supporting your child’s interest in sports allows you to watch your child do something they love, interact with a group of peers and take direction from a coach.
It’s about knowing that they’re learning social skills and critical thinking skills as they keep their body vibrant.
Being a ‘single’ sports parent has not always allowed me the freedom or flexibility to be at every game or every tournament, but you can bet your buns if I could be there, I was. When I couldn’t other parents stepped in to help, and when I could, I returned the favour.
Tonight I dropped the kiddo off to catch the team bus to his first football game of the season. He has practiced, trained and worked hard to make sure that he does his best for himself, and for his team. He’s also eaten me out of house and home. What a glorious parenting problem to have; a healthy child.
Tonight when the gang gets there to cheer him on, we will huddle under blankets, eat hot-dogs, catch up on each others’ news. When he looks up to find his crazy old mother with the giant team-coloured finger and tie-dyed blanket, and his video-camera carrying dad, he’ll know that we’ve got his back.
Tonight I will reconnect with other parents I’ve known for years, new parents who are nervous about how their own child is fitting into a new high school and a new team. Being a sports mom is about embracing the experience, and being able to scope out the nearest bathroom, ice-cream or sub shop.
Being a sports mom is about giving your kids opportunities to build self-esteem, relationships, and confidence. It’s also about letting go and giving them the freedom to explore what sports they love and which ones they don’t love.
It’s also about having a car full of rain-ready-gear, mittens, hats, boots and various and sundry other creature comforts that make braving the elements a bit more pleasant.
Wishing every sports mom out there a fabulous football season (which, as you know, conflicts with baseball try-outs and basketball)…and for everything else, there’s wine…