Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A Sporting Chance

A sporting chance.

Holy crap - I just realized that I really REALLY want to win at Naniwrimo this year.  Like a LOT.  I want to write and post and keep up with people.  I want to finish my novel, I want to read it to people, I want to make it GREAT.  So ok, I go onto the website, my homepage website, on Nanowrimo, and realize that THIS blog is attached to THAT page.  Well well.  If that isn't a reason to come up with something interesting to say...

So of interest lately around these parts is: kids sports.

My son is 8.5 and reasonably athletic.  He doesn't get it from his mom, but he can lope, he can dance around a soccer ball and he loves it.  So we moved from rec soccer to travel soccer - mostly to play with other kids who REALLY like to play, and also because he can play more often.  2 times a week would have been sufficient.  But ok, 4 times a week is what this team does.  It's what ALL the not-rec teams do.  True also for baseball.  5 times a week for football (never EVER letting him play football).  We don't play baseball.  Too boring.  So there's this tournament, the kids have to win 3/3 to get to the NEXT stage, which is in the Spring.  The first three games are in the Fall.  They are all over the state.  We got super lucky - the first two games are home games, and the third is 3 hrs away.  Not too bad.  My kid made the "silver" team.  There's also a "gold" team.  He didn't make that.  As it turns out, the "gold" team has 2 games away, and only one home game.  So I'm pttttth'ing the golden children and their parents who will be driving a LOT of hours.  I admit I'm competitive when it comes to how awesome my kid is.  He's a really nice kid - kind and gentle (generally), grateful and remembers his pleases and thank yous.  Usually.  Anyway, their kids are too - that isn't the point - the point is that I LIKE being competitive.  His best bud is a golden child, and his mom and I can JOKE about how my kid didn't make the cut.  There's another family that got moved down (we got moved down too), and they're all pissy and won't discuss (let alone make fun of) what happened.  Shrug.  What can we do, make them feel better?  Explain to their kid that their daddy doesn't coach, so they don't deserve more than a nod to their unbelievable (not) talent and incredible hard work?  Not so much.  We can laugh about it and enjoy the sunshine in our eyes, giving us new eye crinkles, and the fresh air and allergic asthma of all that newly mown grass.

The politics of kids sports is ridiculous, but it's part of the game.  Don't get pissed at it, mamas and papas.  Get in the game.  Get your head in the game.  If your kid is a huge risk taker - aggressive and a big mental player - expect that some coaches will not like that.  If you are not coaching your kid, expect him to get placed wherever the coach places him.  And for the love of pete - don't take it out on the sport!  Baseball is just baseball.  A diamond with a hump in the middle and a chain link fence around two sides.  That's it.  Bats and balls are optional.  Bases are optional.  Even the chain link is optional (but recommended, especially with those hard little balls the boys play with).  But a sense of humor (and a cushion for the aluminum bench) is highly recommended.  Bring your camera if you must.  Bring your beer/vodka/wine/whatever it is you need to be mellow and have fun.  Keep your head on and your mouth shut.  I have so enjoyed the seasons on the field, indoor and outside, but it is hard to get too wrapped up in the politics.  I just want my kid to be the best (he can be - politically correct, correct?), and to kick ass out there.  Because it's all about kicking ass.  Someone else's.

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