I have always said that I couldn't wait for my kids to play sports. Now that the time has arrived, I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's sort of like when I said I couldn't wait for them to start walking...once they could, I wanted to put a helmet on them at all times. It's not just their injuries I worry about with sports...it's the injuries that I may inflict on the other parents who can't seem to keep their comments to them themselves.
I can be a very opinionated person (those who know me are completely shocked by that statement I assure you). However, I am not a confrontational person. This mixture can cause mayhem in my mind. I often "argue" with people non verbally. When they say something that I don't agree with, I have a silent snide response in my head while appearing to be unfazed by their statement (unless, of course, I've had a cocktail or two...then all bets are off). I can guarantee you that this drives my husband crazy. There are times when we are involved in a full blown argument and he doesn't even know it.
It's amusing to me that parents who have children in sports feel that the child's ability to play is a direct reflection of themselves. They assume that because they were good at a sport, their child will be also. It may be true to a point, but it's pretty difficult to tell at a very young age. Most of the kids that play, and are the same age as my kids, seem to be more interested in the flowers that are growing in the field, or how many times they can spin around without falling down while "playing" their sport. This drives the parents insane! They scream at them and try to explain to the other parents watching that their child must be having an off day because they are really good when they practice with them at home. Whatever...it's not the majors people (that's the kind of thing I say to them in my head).
If it is true that the child will excel at a sport because their parents did, my kids will probably be mediocre at best. My husband is a natural athlete. It's almost sickening how good he is at every sport he plays. Me on the other hand...I'm more of a spectator than a player. I am very passionate about sports though. I watch as many professional games as I can and understand the games enough to answer any questions my kids my have about the rules. The only organized sport I ever played was softball. In high school my career consisted of desperately trying to figure out how to get out of practice..."I have cramps" was my go to line. After that, I did play a little...I'm not really sure though if you can actually consider a "beer league" as organized play. My kids do share my love for sports. Our family outings usually consist of going to a baseball game or heading to the batting cages so they can practice. This is their choice though. I will admit that I suggest the batting cages often. It may be selfish of me, but I love to go and watch my husband get in the cage with the fastest pitches, completely crushing the ball. It's definitely hot, and I tend to "reward" him for his efforts later on.
As my kids get older and start playing on a more competitive level, I've been finding it increasingly difficult to bite my tongue when I hear remarks from other parents during the game...especially if they are about my child. Last year, my oldest played his first session of competitive soccer. He insisted on being a goalie too. His coach was gracious enough to let him try it and he did pretty well. There were times though that the other kids were just too big or too strong for the team to defend and they would score on him repeatedly. Here are some of the "exchanges" I had with other parents:
Parent: "Jeez, they really need to get that kid out of net, they are getting killed"
In my head: YOU, need to shut the hell up...he's only a baby and he's trying his best.
Parent: "Someone needs to tell that kid in net to pick up the ball more"
In my head: I guarantee it will not be you because, if it is, I swear I will kick you in the balls!
Then there was the time I actually said something out loud:
Me: "Buddy, you need to watch out for number 12...cover number 12!
Number 12's mom: "People better stop talking about my kid or it's going to get ugly in here"
In my head: Oh, it already did get ugly in here...when YOU walked in. I'm only talking about your kid because he's good...jackass.
Or...my exchange with my husband:
Hubby: "What the hell is he doing out there? He's just standing there watching the game.
In my head: Yeah, he gets that from me...we all can't be superstar athletes like YOU!
For kids to play sports at this age it can get rather expensive. When my son joined baseball I couldn't believe the fee for such a short schedule. It also didn't include the cleats, baseball pants, batting gloves and bat. When I got home from picking up all these things my husband asked me if I bought him a cup. "A what now?"..."A cup...he needs a cup". Good grief. Do they even make them that small? It turns out they do. He is really amused by it, and as soon as he puts it on he feels the need to knock on it or have his brother punch him in the junk just to prove that it works. My four year old insists that it's a "hat". Whenever he finds it he puts it on his head. Of course the older one tries to explain to him what it is, but the name really confuses him.
My six your old:"It's a cup not a hat"
My four year old: "Ohhh...you drink out of it?"
My six your old:"NOO...my pee-pee goes in there"
My four year old: "Eww...you drink pee-pee?!?"
Hopefully as they get older I can keep my heated "exchanges" with other parents in my head (and the venues that the kids play at won't serve alcohol). Otherwise, I may end up on You Tube in a viral video...kicking the crap out of another parent for talking shit about my kids. If there are any parents out there reading this and there is a chance your kids will play with mine...keep a mental note...you have been warned.