Everyone is dying for spring, but I am in no rush, mostly because of my allergies. Who am I kidding? It’s because of the sports. This spring I am going to lose my mind shuttling three kids between five sports. I enjoy watching my kids play sports, but if I’m being honest, I don’t enjoy it that much. Certainly not as much as my husband.
Growing up, my husband played football, basketball, and baseball and he excelled at each one. So naturally, watching his kids play sports brings back a lot of wonderful memories.
For me, though, there’s not much to which I can relate. In my youth, I played competitive piano and my exposure to sports was extremely limited. Aside from the 1986 World Series and the OJ Simpson murder trial, my family didn’t really even watch sports on TV.
Today, all kids seem to do is play sports (and Minecraft), and I’ve had a really hard time pretending I know what’s going on. It’s not that I don’t try, I do, but eventually I zone out, irritated by all the noise, especially the piercing whistles. I start thinking about all kinds of things I know no one else on the sidelines is thinking given that there is an actual game going on.
You would think that I would just sit there and politely keep my non-sports thoughts to myself, but I don’t. Instead, I share them. I start blabbing about whatever pops into my head. Most of the time, these thoughts are about food. Here is the transcript of an actual conversation I had with my husband at my son’s basketball game a few weekends ago:
Husband: “Oh my God, how did that not go in?”
Me: “Oooooo! So close!”
Husband: “He’s gotta make those.”
Me: “So I know we said sushi for dinner, but Greg wants spaghetti and meatballs.”
Husband (shouting): “WHO’S GOT 15?”
Me: “Actually, I bet I could get Greg to eat a meatball sub from Subway.”
Husband: “STAY SQUARE!! SQUARE UP!!”
Me: “No, I can’t do that. Subway is junk.”
Husband: “Great job boys!”
Me: “Good job guys!!
Husband: “Whatever you want for dinner, I don’t care. GREG, GET BACK ON D!”
Me: “Alright, well, let me see what he says after the game. I really don’t want to cook tonight. I’m so tired. What time is this over?”
Husband: “HELP HIM OUT, HELP HIM OUT!!!”
Me: “My skin is so dry, I can’t deal. Don’t forget I’m going to that party tonight.”
Husband: “GREAT PASS! What party?”
Me: “The Oscar party, after dinner.”
Husband: “Oh. So don’t cook then. Just do Subway. THREE SECONDS!”
Me: “I don’t want Subway.”
Husband: “That’s right, you said sushi. WATCH IT, HE’S REACHING IN!”
Sometimes, I will be at a game without my husband and my boredom will compel me to start chatting up another Mom, even though she is giving no indication that she is open to chatting. I’ll ask her if she has tried the new restaurant in town and she will answer me but two seconds later she will break eye contact to scream positive encouragements at her child across the field, making me feel like a boob for ever venturing into non-sports territory in the first place. Even my closest friend once gave me “The Heisman” after I offered to share the details of my most recent meal with her so that she could enthusiastically remind her daughter to be “softball ready” in the outfield over and over again.
When my last and youngest starts playing tackle football in a few years, I am hopeful things will be different. If I had to choose one sport to tolerate for the rest of my life, it would have to be football. I’m sure this has something to do with the glorious food of football (e.g., chili, wings, nachos…what’s not to love?) but over the years I have come to understand it much more than any other sport and therefore should be able to pay better attention. Except if it’s cold. Then the only thing I will be able to think about will be those things that keep me warm in winter, like pot roast, sausage lentil soup, and beef stew. Oh well. Maybe I’ll just help at the snack stand.