Walk of Shame

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.


Mama Kalila said...

You posted this at a perfect time for me.

I've been watching the olympics too & thinking about my daughter (and future kids) and how I hope I don't push them to do things just because I wanted to do them and had no chance (growing up in a small town can stink sometimes).

I have no doubt my daughter will do whatever she wants to & be good at it... I just hope I don't fall into that whole cliche. (don't mean your situation, but the can't do push your child thing)

Btw... I'd have felt the same way. I love football....

Lori said...

I so would have done the same...I would have thought of making my kiddo return the gear, but then not have made them...why do we do this!?
I hear ya...just support them, that is all we can do! Good job mom!

Sara said...

I like football games. Mostly for the social aspect. ;) But I don't like the constant pain and swelling and minor injuries. God forbid we should have any major injuries. +

I'd be more than happy to make that walk! You're a good mom.

Robert said...

I love football. My favorite part is when folks make a great shot and the puck goes into the goal all the way from the other side...just awesome.

Mama Kalila said...

puck? Huh? For a second I thought you meant British Football... but reread that & no...

Rachel said...

The 'robert' above who commented is mine, mama kalila, and he's just being a dork. Don't worry, Kathleen knows him REALLY WELL!

We have 3 kids. One was the captain of his high schools Fencing team. Fencers and Football players are totally different breeds of cat. Kath knows me well too, and I would have been doing everything to try and talk my kids OUT of football.:-) I am the anti-sports-mom. I mean, I'm fine with my kids being in sports as long as it's not too expensive and stays local...I don't like travelling...even for fun...let alone a sport. :-)

So, good for you Kath! Your dedication to your kids' extracurricular activities has always been an inspiration and continues to amaze me. I think it's great. However, I don't possess that dedication at all. Of course, I say this now with Autumn's first figure skating class less than a week away (she's decided to drop dance after 4 years in order to skate). Hmmm, do smell the Winter Olympics in my future?? Oh God, I hope not! YIKES!