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Fans of a Feather…

I’m never going to be a “soccer mom”.

I refuse to drive a mini van.

I didn’t put my kids into club sports.

We had a brief brush with Little League once that featured my son chasing gophers in right field.

Rather than give up thousands of dollars and years of weekends in the snack bar making nachos, we waited for each kid to hit high school and then said, “Good luck with that, kid!”

Watching water polo was fun. Most of the game was under water and the ball tossed around until it went into a goal, just like soccer. I believe the rules were “put the ball into a goal” and “don’t drown”.

Fairly straight-forward.

Also, the uniforms were small and easy to clean.

Cross Country involved watching the kids run off in the distance and ended with them crossing the finish line heaving and staggering and nearly throwing up from 3.1 miles of extreme cardio.

Pretty only at a distance, this sport has only one rule: run. The faster, the better.

The good news: uniform consists of a good pair of shoes.

The bad news: my kids outgrew them every other month.

Indoor sports are nicer to spectate. Weather is minimized and there’s somewhere clean(er) to sit, albeit your butt is going to be numb in about fifteen minutes. It’s stupid. Be prepared.

Basketball moves too fast for the number of rules and strategies involved. I will still be asking “What the heck was that?” and they are already three hoops further down the game.

Also: there are more tackles in this game than football. I want to send my kid onto the court wearing full body bubble pack.

Volleyball, however, has only six kids out there in a zone they stay contained in. The teams are separated by a net, so they have to try to maim each other with the ball instead.

It’s a bit like dodgeball, only you are expected to actually stand in the line of fire and return the ball so they can try again.

When our athletic kids finally got onto a sport team, Hubby had some big league time to make up for in the stands.

Hubby knows more than the coach, sees more than the ref, and comments louder than any highly caffeinated soccer mom I know.

I was distracted by my other kid asking for a dollar for the snack bar, so I didn’t realize he was sitting just behind me, doing what I thought was the wave.

Of one.

Instead, he was trying to signal our son to hit higher over the net or some such coaching advice.

I turned around to see him raising both arms, thumbs hooked together, and bringing them down in a giant secret hand signal. It’s the exact move the audience uses to get Shamu to fling saltwater all over the “wet zone” with his flukes in the show.

I moved to the top bleachers just in case.

He was reminding the kids of secret plays at the top of his lungs.

His feet were pounding, my head was pounding.

Which was bad enough, except all the other parents were getting riled up too.

And then a mom from the opposing team stood up and may have had something negative to say about our team and Hubby may have had something to say in reply that two other parents needed to get verbally involved with which in turn inspired further parents to give their two cents on the subject and the original lady ended up calling Hubby the lowest name she could think of, off the top of her head.

Before the athletic directors and vice principals came over to have a few words about parent role models and school representation, I had slunk far across the bleachers.

I didn’t remind Hubby that “this is just a game”. When it was all over, I walked with him through the parking lot, in stitches over his new nickname: “Big Bird”.

And kept an eye out for the crazy lady who named him.

I bet she drives a mini van.

Published inLiving Larger


  1. Kiki

    Great one! Although I would love for my daughter to have played sports for health reasons, I was glad in my own secret way that sports ended in middle school. Theatre was her outlet and I was satisfied with that. No one yelling or telling her what she did wrong….well except for the drama that comes with drama…plenty of that. I did have the mini van…but for my Girl Scouts…

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