Thursday, September 15, 2005

'Tis the Season, The Sports Season, That Is

The kids are back in school and our lives are back on a very structured schedule. Awake at a certain time, home at a certain time, dinner at a certain time (give or take), bed at a certain time. Seems to make things a bit easier, huh? Nope. Just when we thought we were organized and scheduled again, along comes soccer season, the first of many many sports seasons until late next August. This schedule really only reeks havoc on our evenings and weekends, thus affecting dinner time, dinner as a family, quality of dinner, fighting for showertime, homework time, bedtime, family time on the weekends, and, ultimately wake up time.

It is nice, however, to see the children happy and running around the field using up all of that excess energy. She LOVES sports. She loves the competition and she loves all of the friends that she makes. She loves striving to be the best. I compare that to me with music. I always want to be the best that I can be when it comes to singing and she has that same drive with sports, although, I think she's a bit tougher than I am. She will play four full quarters of soccer or basketball, constantly running back and forth, and rejuvenate after water or a sports drink. She can play 7 innings of girls softball in 90 degree heat and feel no more than a nap's worth of exhaustion. She can take criticism and instruction better than I can. She lets it roll off, I let it fester.

You should have seen her play last night. She played 3 quarters and played defense all three. Not once did I see anyone get past her. She plays on her school soccer team, which is co-ed. She never backs down from a hit, a block, a fall, a boy. She takes them all and knocks them down. She will run you over if she must. Two years ago her coach was trying to motivate her to play harder (like that's really necessary) and used the negative reinforcement approach. He told her she played like a girl. Being Girl, she responded, "That's because I am." During the next quarter there was a player trying desperately to get past her. The poor opponent ended up with a concussion because Girl wasn't letting her by and flattened her. Now, don't get the wrong idea, Girl is not a brute, but if you get in her way, you're pretty much entering shark infested waters covered in blood. She doesn't mean to hurt or maim, even, but sometimes it happens. She always feels bad when she hurts someone, even if it's as minor as a trip and fall, and she always apologizes. She felt awful after giving that poor player a concussion, but she never got anymore razzing from her coach!

So back to the changing seasons of sports, crock pot, electric frypan, Market Day, and fast food dinners. I think this year we'll plan out our meals according to the sports schedule - if we have one. The school seems to find it terribly difficult to get schedules to the students before the day of the game, so parents are left changing every plan and other schedule that they have made for the family while counting on it being a game or practice -free evening. Well, we've gotten used to it. Sometimes we miss the games. I hate doing that. Even if it makes me available to do something else, like laundry or grocery shop, or do something with Small or LargeBoys, it still leaves me with MommyGuilt because I'm not there watching her do the one thing she LOVES. Until August '06, though, I'm going to have to adjust.

Once soccer is over, actually before that, we move into basketball season. With the playoffs overlapping the beginning of basketball practice, we're running around every night. As basketball season is winding to a close, volleyball practice starts up - again, more running around every night. As the school year and volleyball finish up, we're into softball tournaments every weekend until August. Keep in mind, though, that during all of these other sports, softball practice is going on indoors so that the girls are fresh for the start of the season! Hopefully with all of these sports, Girl will excel at one of them, have phenomenal grades, be socially active, and end up with a scholarship to the college of her choice. Boy wouldn't that be amazing.

I should close today by saying that all of this sacrifice is well worth it. It keeps my child(ren) extremely happy, busy, and out of trouble - and off the computer, and off the phone, and off of the video games....With all of the craziness, sports really are a good thing in our lives (God, I can't believe I just said that!)

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