Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sports Mom Blues

I dislike sports. The only reason I ever attended a game of any kind was easily attributed to one of several factors:
  1. A friend wanted to go.
  2. There was a cute guy there I wanted to see.
  3. I was in band, so I had to play for the games.
  4. My dad took me.
  5. My kid is in a sport.
Sigh. Enter the gates of hell.

I am not one of those parents who screams at full vocal throttle for their kid. I go and support my young 'un, but I don't travel to all the out of town games nor do I go to every single home game either. Some do, but I simply cannot. I provide enough presence to be considered supportive by the general public and make my kids happy that I go to see them... and then happy that I don't go see them sometimes, too.

I don't know how people have the time to go to all of their kids' events. My daughter is in volleyball and she has practice after school every weekday for several months. If there isn't practice, it's because there's a game. Either way, it's an extra trip to town for me since she normally rides the bus. It's an extra 45 minutes - just driving and waiting - out of every day for me. If I go to a game, it's about three hours of my time. I could be doing productive things, like... anything!

Then there's the money you spend. All that driving costs gas money. Then there's:
  • Special shoes
  • Knee Pads
  • Another pair of knee pads because the first ones just didn't do right
  • Sweatpants
  • Jacket in team colors
  • Three pairs of shorts for practice
  • Athletic fee
  • Cost to get into games
  • Money for daughter for snacks before/during game
  • Water bottles required for practice or she has to run laps
  • A small gift for your "sister" partner for each game
  • A ball to practice at home with

Not even kidding. I'm prepared to start digging change out of the couch to pay for food.

Another reason I have the sports mom blues is the abandonment. I brought my other daughter. She sat with me all of about 15 minutes and I was glad to have the company. I decided to go to concessions and maybe surprise her with something. She did say she would be starving by the time the game was over. I spent approximately a thousand dollars on treats for us.

"Yes, I'll have a nachos supreme, a taco in a bag, a Cherry Coke and a root beer."
Teen response, somewhat audibly: Wah-wah-wa-wah-wah

"You're out of Cherry Coke? (figures, that was what I wanted.) Okay, I'll just take one root beer and we'll split it."
Teen response, somewhat audibly: Wah-wah-wa-wah-wah

"Yes, I want everything on both of those."
Teen response, somewhat audibly: Wah-wah-wa-wah-wah

"Ummmm, hmmmm. Liquid cheese or shredded? Hmmm. Yes, liquid cheese, please."

That sounds so gross now that I'm saying it out of context. Liquid cheese. Go ahead. Say it! It sounds gross, doesn't it? And yet, I want it slathered all over the food. Sigh - gates of hell, people - gates of hell.

I began calculating how to get my surprise back to my seat when my daughter suddenly appeared.

"Oh good, you can help me carry this."

Her response was less than desirable, "Ew, what is that?"

In an effort to make it seem more palatable, I replied enthusiastically, "Nachos supreme and a taco in a bag! You can choose whichever one you want. I thought I'd surprise you."

"I don't want anything right now anyway. I'm going downstairs."

I knew what this meant. I wouldn't see her for the rest of the night.

"Uh! I thought you were starving," I gently reminded her.

Apparently, she ate cookies in stealth mode before we left the house. No wonder it took her so long to go back into the house for that water bottle! Little sh... poopie head.

Great. I knew I had to eat all of the food myself or it would get soggy. Nobody likes soggy, liquid cheese infused chips. Nobody.

So, like a pig, I sat by myself and ate both the nachos supreme and the taco in a bag, which were essentially the same thing on a different bed of chips, feeling like a total dork, while my daughter holed up with her friends in a corner, oblivious. I slunked off to a less conspicuous spot to pig out.

After that, bored to tears, I wrote this blog post long-hand on the back of the only pieces of paper I could find in my purse, the back of a gas stamp card and a napkin. I silently wished I had brought my laptop or owned an iPad. My daughter played for all of about ten minutes an hour before and now I had to wait until all volleyball games for the other grades are complete before I could take her home... all six games. Sigh. Again.

Did you know it takes a really long time to write something like this long-hand?

And holy moly, my butt was killing me! I'd already been in pain from the other game I went to this week. My back, my aching back! I felt ninety. Old ninety. Not young, spry ninety. Sitting on a plank of wood for hours on end is definitely a chiropractor's dream. They ought to troll games and slingshot business cards into the crowd.

That's right. I not only write, but you can hire me as a marketing consultant as well. Come on, you know a chiropractor would be remembered if he walked up and down every row saying, "Your back will be killing you tomorrow." Then whispering and leaning in with the card pressed into your palm, "Call me." He winks as he walks away.

The hours drag on. I look up and pretend to care about the other games when I hear a lot of cheering or noise interrupting my writing. Suddenly, both daughters run up to me, "Mom, it's time to go!"

Whoops! Game is over? Hey... who won?


  1. Your post gave me a whole new appreciation of my mom. All the details you shared made me appreciate her even more and all my basketball games etc she suffered through. I'm sure she's smiling down on you right now, hand poised to give you a high five. Fun post!

  2. Too funny, Cindy! Oh, how I hear ya. although you lost me at the liquid cheese. *sigh* :)

  3. Oh, the days of Sports Mom Blues-been there! Lacrosse, football, downhill ski racing, soccer, equestrian, roller hockey...i don't know how I did it. I can relate to you cindy. It's all over for me now. Weird.

  4. I can't wait for it to all be over. You know, not life, just kids in sports... ha ha.

  5. It has its uses and I mostly like it, but boy does it sound gross when you call it "liquid" cheese! Guess I should have gotten the shredded.

  6. Bleah, liquid cheese decidedly not appetizing at all. Thankful for slothful older daughter, I only have the younger playing sports and only one-field hockey (though she's threatened to take up lacrosse). I've managed to not attend a single game all season. I hope to maintain that record next season. I hate attending sporting events, especially school sports, they make chorus concerts seems scintillating. The deal is, if they make it into the play-offs I'll go. Lucky for me, there's next to a zero chance of that happen, GoHillies!

  7. I had the sports mom blues and now that I've been raising my granddaughter since she was one I have the sports grandmother blues. She plays softball, basketball, and volleyball. I enjoy basketball though.

  8. You know, I *love* sports, but now I think I have sports mom blues ... and I'm not even a sports mom! Well .. I'm not even a mom. But, I feel your pain. Literally--my butt aches right now just thinking of that. And so you know, if you were my mom, I would've sat and eaten with you. (Then again, if you were my mom, I might not have had a choice ... so go, you, for giving your kids independence!) This was painfully hilarious! And, final thought: "Liquid cheese" is now on my list of things that sound gross, along with "moist" and "chaffing." :)

  9. OMG Cindy I can so relate, sitting out there on Saturday morning soccer games freezing my butt!! You will win mother of the year!! LOL!!!

  10. When my son played little league, my friend bought me a blanket that zips up into a sitting pad. It even has straps to carry it. I almost never used it as a blanket - but it made sitting on cold, hard bleachers almost bearable. I don't waiting for my kids because I spend almost every minute writing or critiquing someone's writing. Good luck!

  11. Yeah, some of those games sure are long... and the concerts too. I like it when mine are involved, but then the other parts can take so long, especially when ditched!

  12. I know! Only a few more years, though. Then I'm hoping for a break before grandchildren.

  13. Hmmm, I have a picnic blanket I could use just for that purpose - it zips up just like you're talking about! Thanks for that idea!

  14. I would love to win that. It would make being a mom a little nicer on the rough days.

  15. Khara, I do try to give them independence (with limits, of course) and understand the "I don't want to be with mom" stage. Painful part of motherhood, but a part nonetheless. Oh, and if you just call it Nacho Cheese it sounds better than liquid cheese. I wish she would have said that to me instead of "liquid" cheese - it made it sound so gross! However, I still wanted it ;0)

  16. Oh wow, I hope I don't have to raise any grandchildren, but if I do, there I'll sit - through it all...

  17. "Slothful older daughter" - you crack me up! And hmmm, I might have to adopt that playoffs rule!

  18. OMG are you the exact same sports parent as my wife and I...we have 3 kids in sports, and one in drama, and we're complaining the whole way through. Really loved your writing Cindy...I'm coming back soon. :-)