Thursday, July 2, 2015

Just When I Thought It Was Safe to go Back Inside

When I first met Martha she was the varsity coach for her small High School alma mater’s basketball team.  She also coached their softball team.  And I, being a good and supportive girlfriend, attended as many games as I could.  

She gave up coaching when our first daughter was born, but as soon as Beaner could hold an object she was given small squishy basketballs and hoops.  By the time Beaner and Peachie were 3 they were enrolled in toddlers’ soccer and I began the first of many, many years of bleacher sitting.  They were always 3 sport, 3 season athletes and as they got older they also played on travel and AAU teams.  Spring sometimes included 3 sports at the same time, often with the two girls going in opposite directions.  My life became dominated by watching my daughters do something with a ball.  Can you tell that I wasn’t thrilled?  I was immensely proud of them and the hard work they put in.  But really?  Wasn’t there more to life than putting a ball in a hoop?  I was obviously missing the competitive gene that the rest of my family has, on steroids.  In fact, I was the bad mother who would just assume see our team lose than to go into overtime.  Go ahead and judge me but after spending hours sitting in a cold sleety October rain, you’d want to go home too.

I was secretly thrilled when Beaner decided not to play basketball in college.  Of course, I couldn’t say that out loud but wow, what a luxury it was to only have Peachie playing.  She had a great high school senior year with many accolades and awards and I thought it would all end on a high note.  Until she got recruited to play field hockey in college.  Well, at least it was only one sport, for one season.  The hard part was that now instead of having to travel to high school competitions within a small radius, we were often driving 5 and 6 hours, one way, to watch her play.  And then we couldn’t even visit with her because the team had to get on a bus and return.  Still, it was only a 12 game season and I was beginning to see the finish line.  

College graduation was hard as Peachie had to say goodbye to housemates/teammates she had been with for 4 years and to the sport she loved  There were lots of tears and I tried hard to look sad too, but deep down I was doing a happy dance.  No more bleacher butt!  No more bundling up in 12 layers! No more concession stand dinners!

Until Martha was asked to be the JV basketball coach at our high school.  I went to a couple games last year, but mostly I spent the season in various medical recoveries that got me out of it.  Now Beaner has volunteered to coach a summer basketball league for girls.  Okay, a few more summer night games in incredibly hot and smelly gyms.   And now Peachie has said yes to coaching our high school varsity field hockey team.  Everywhere I go people are congratulating me saying how thrilled they are and how great Peachie will be.  And all I can think of is dreading Wednesdays and Fridays, sitting on bleachers, freezing my butt off.  

I am a bad mother, I know that.  But all I keeping thinking is that this wouldn’t have happened if they just took piano lessons like I wanted them too.



11 comments:

  1. Well, you would have sat through some pretty horrific piano recitals. Everything takes its pound of flesh. And I say this, who loves music like I love breathing.

    That said, I think once people are adults (and that includes partners as well as kids) you get to have your life back. It's great that they're coaching, but I cannot remember a single coach's wife or parent sitting in the bleachers as I was making my way through jr. football (foster kid) and baseball (kid).

    You are off the hook. In my ever so humble opinion.

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    1. Yes, but piano recitals are only once or twice a year. Although I did suffer through Beaner playing the trumpet for a year or two, practicing Hot Cross Buns ad nauseum. Brutal.

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  2. I can't imagine you actually have to go to the games they're coaching, do you?!? I mean, at some time, you get to do what you want. I think maybe making an appearance would be appropriate, if they want you to, but honestly, I think you don't have to go to even a single game, let alone all of them. I've never seen the parent of a coach at any of my daughter's games (and oh boy, there was one coach I'd loved to have spoken with her parents - she was a piece of work and the reason I pulled my daughter from soccer.)

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    1. Actually, now that I'm semi-retired I have more than enough time to do what I want. And to be honest, cheering for my daughters, no matter what they are doing, is not a bad way to spend my time - if I could be in a climate controlled environment with a LazyBoy recliner : )

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  3. And in a few years you'll have grandchildren and the whole cycle will start again. The circle of life : )

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    1. We are definitely not encouraging that to happen too fast now are we : )

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  4. HELL NO! 8 WON'T GO!

    I'm going to agree with the other commenters- You are off the hook!
    And, as Ren said, all too soon it'll be grandchildren and obligatory.

    Pull a Nancy Reagan and JUST SAY NO!
    Xoxox

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    1. Come on e. If it were Zoe, you'd be right there. You're not fooling me : )

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  5. I say you're off the hook also.

    My grandchildren will be athletes. That's what my daughter and sil value. Me, not so much. I'm nudging in the direction of coloring and poetry and music and imagination. My influence will be little but I keep nudging

    Time for yourself when Martha and the girls are coaching: doesn't that sound like a worthy plan? ๐Ÿ˜ŠI think it does ๐Ÿ˜œ

    Love
    kj

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    1. I nudged. I pleaded. I begged for more of the arts. They really had no interest, except they have fallen in love with live theater like me. And honestly when I look at what sports have given them - teamwork, camaraderie, leadership, working hard to reach a goal, learning how to deal with failure,discipline, etc. - I have to admit they got a lot out of it.

      All I got was bleacher butt. And a lot of pride!

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  6. LOL. My daughter dabbled with softball, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Of the four, she went on to play soccer competively. It remains her favorite sport. She tries to find pick-up games that fit within her schedule even today. My son was a soccer and basketball kid but dropped sports once the acting bug bit. It has been a joy and education watching them find paths. Yes, a lot of pride in what they have learned and more, what they give back.

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