Monday, April 30, 2012

Sports Mom (not)

Tug, Sheridan and company (and a pregnant me)
Sports spectating is not, as they say, my bag. Living in a city known for its sports nuts, I watch with detached amusement as grown men scream and jump up and down, curse, high five each other and spill beer on themselves as they view their Flyers or Sixers or Phillies or Eagles. Who cares? We have a photo of us with World Series pitcher Tug McGraw (Tug had his own segment on Action News in those days and was covering Steve’s children's theatre performance at a school). Steve was thrilled. I was unthrilled in the extreme.

If I care not a whit for professionals who play the games, you can imagine my keen interest in sports back when my own children played. None of them were exactly kindergarten standouts, so what I recall most were the baseball games that lasted well into the night (on unlit fields I might add), when the frenzied dad-coaches swore they could still see the ball and we could go one more inning. I also remember the Arctic chill of late-fall evening soccer. When "our" team was behind, I secretly hoped their opponents would crush them quickly so we could all go home. Confession: during an early Rose basketball game, I was totally engrossed in conversation with my friend Holly. At one point the ref, who happened to be a friend from church, actually came over to me and informed me that Rosie had just made a basket (her very first, in fact), and that I should pretend later to have seen it. I viewed watching their games as my motherly cross to bear, and counted the days until I would be off the hook forever.

Well, guess what? It's happened. I am no longer contractually obligated to sit on any bleachers, anywhere. And you know what? I kinda miss it. Not the sports themselves of course--nor the sports-crazed parents (one parent of a kid on Evan's team was given to shrieking at the children, even following them out to the parking lot to rant and rave). I miss being an important game-watcher--important to my kids, that is--even when I was rooting for a field hockey player I could have sworn was Julie and wasn't. My offspring never got mad if I cheered their adversary's goal by accident; they just wanted me physically present for them.

So PJ came home for Steve's birthday and needed to go back to Millersville for a lacrosse game (the team he plays on is doing very well, on its way to a national championship). On an impulse Steve and I decided to drive out and watch him play. It was all so familiar--the cold, the bleachers, the requisite bizarre screaming fan (this guy wore a full yellow bodysuit). Wonder of wonders, I enjoyed myself. College lacrosse is very fast-moving and exciting. PJ was, himself, fast-moving and fun to watch.

Best of all: PJ was genuinely happy we had come.

And I was happy too.

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