So today I got to do the walk of shame.
I know, it is all in my head.
Today's walk of shame was the "return the football gear" walk. You know, when your son decides not to play after the first practice you can't just show up and drop off the equipment with the board presidents. Presidents you say? We are talking some ORGANIZED youth sports here. NOOOO you have to walk down and across the practice field to a pod way in the back to return it. In order to get a refund, you gotta walk the walk.
Now that I am working at the high school, this was even less appealing as the high school practice was just letting out as the "feeder practice" was starting. I got to walk by two teams I knew well. Regardless, I took a deep breath and ventured into the testosterone. Normally this would be quite a privlege, as parents are not allowed on the grass or "in the zone". Not today. Though I did get a nice view. No, you lecherous old women, get your mind out of the gutter, a nice view of coaching styles.
Walking through the smell of sweat, the sound of pads hitting, the occasional curse actually made me sad. Because I love football. And I won't be an insider anymore. But then I remembered that I AM NOT AN 11 YEAR OLD BOY, and that I am not the one playing.
I have mentioned my struggle with pushing a sport before. When does a gentle push to continue become a rabidly obsessed sports parent? When do you encourage and when do you step back? As I watch the Olympics and look at these athletes who have dedicated their lives to their sport- with great success, I wonder when did the passion begin? Was it truly the child's or was it the parents'?
I decided to step back with my electric boy. This has been a crazy summer and I decided to listen to him. He didn't want to spend all fall in the car going from one practice to the next, and be sore and bruised on top of worrying about middle school. I threatened making him take the walk of shame with me, mom of the year I know, but you know I wouldn't really make him. So I did it alone, one crazy suburban mom.
I never fit in.