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Sports Season...and Mom Guilt.

To the moms...I want to say it's ok to admit that you hate sporting events. I know how hard it all is. The practices, the games, lugging all the other kids around, games simultaneously, having to choose. Gosh, it's so much, some decide not to do it at all, and others (like us this year) decide to go way overboard and watch as our kids have meltdowns because they are being pushed to the limit.

It's so much more fun, though, being at a new stage than most in this parenting thing. I get to help other exasperated moms watching their kids bounce around, not knowing exactly what's going on. We want our kids to love the sport, understand it, and excel at it, and not for us, but for them. The thing is, most won't. Not at first, and that's not a lot of fun. It's an obligation and can seem pointless at times. Tedious and frustrating, and there's no doubt that even though these are just children who are all beginning, there will be a few on the team who seem to get it. Why? How? What kind of crazy training camps are they being sent to? Then when your little girl or guy finally gets the ball, a mistake is made. They panic, do the wrong thing, miss the hoop, run the wrong way, you can see them crumble a little (or maybe it's just you crumbling), and you WANT so bad for them to have a win and small win. You might dread the next game, you might want to pull them out. It may seem completely pointless.

So I'm here to tell you it will all be alright. One thing is true, In this day and age, kids are being groomed young for sports. It's a bit silly; they aren't all going to go into the pros or get scholarships. It's inevitable that some coach is going to take the sport that is supposed to be about learning and having fun and make it way more competitive than your own. They'll do shady things and manipulate the refs, making you angry on many levels. If that is YOUR coach, say something. They ruin the game for everyone; they need to chill out, and don't back their practices just because your team is winning; I promise your child is not.

Before I get to the main point, I have to tell you a funny story. Jameson, my 10-year-old, loves sports. He's a smaller kid; he measures himself daily, waiting on a growth spurt that won't come for years. Watching him play soccer was so painful. I would drag my two babies to the games to watch in such frustration while he picked daisy and cared ZERO about the ball. His first 4 years of baseball were just as frustrating. He could get a hit but then had no idea what to do or the urgency of the situation. Somehow when you're watching your kid play a sport that other kids seem to have figured out, you forget that they are little, and you want them to act like an adult. You want to give them tips from the sidelines; you think they should be able to understand these complicated games that you may not even be good at yourself. God, we get so weirdly competitive, but it's out of love. It's a weird love, but we want them to feel good, we get scared they won't, so the fear can come out in us like anger or frustration when really it's just love.

All three of my kids are in basketball right now. My oldest has since found his athletic ability and competitive edge, he watched his 6-year-old brother's first basketball game in horror 😂. He couldn't even watch. "What is he DOING!?!" then he'd yell orders from the side lines. We cracked up 😂, it was amazing watching him feel the way we did for so many years. I told him, "Jameson, this is what it was like watching you play every sport, for like 5 years." He tried to argue, but then he got it. He knew his brother could be competitive and understood the game more than what he was showing on the court, but it's hard to know what's going on once you're out there. It's stressful...that's why I just danced, I avoided the pressure of letting a team down. I wish I had tried though, the lessons learned in team sports are invaluable. Even with the worst coaches.

So...again, I digress. The pressure as a parent to find what your kids will be good at is unreal. Not to mention that whether we want to admit it or not, we really kind of hope they are good at the things that we are. Lord, I would give anything to see Georgia on point shoes with those long, graceful limbs...floating around in Swan Lake. Alas, that is not likely for her, and that's ok. My husband was a force on the soccer field. My oldest son decided early that he despised soccer and taught his brother and sister to feel the same. My heart breaks for my poor husband 😂. We are still holding out hope for the nugget.

I would panic when they were all young. How do I help them find their "thing" that will light them up and set them on fire? Give them confidence and make them happy. HOW? What if we put them in all the sports, but one could be an incredible hockey player? What if Jameson is meant to be on an Olympic curling team 😂. What if Georgia would make an excellent bull rider? I mean, for real, I have a lot of weird thoughts, and these are only the tip of the iceberg. What if, despite our best efforts, they never find what they should, simply for lack of access? Lack of my imagination, ability to afford, and lack of geographical options. HOW DO WE DO THIS!??!

So lately, I have