Sam is the only one of my children to have shown any interest in, let alone actively pursuing, a spot on a competitive team in school. This never gave me cause to stop and wonder; I personally am not cut out for sports- I have an aversion to sweat and pain- and though I’ve always been a dancer, I’m not particularly coordinated.
On the other hand, for Chris this has been a source of bewilderment; his family has always been involved in team sports. Chris, his Mom, and his brother all swam competitively. He also played soccer and football, both with the varsity in high school, and city leagues until just a few years ago, and expressed some regret that none of the kids followed in his cleat-steps.
From time to time over the years, Sam has expressed some interest in organized sports; while I have not actively discouraged this desire, I’ve been reluctant to encourage him. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not one of those hyper-protective mothers, who see danger in every activity and attempt to bubble-wrap their children against real life. But let’s remember that this is my baby; and even though he’s scrappy and full of adventure, he has been on the small size for his age since about three years old. At sixteen, he just grazes 5’7” and bounces around 115 to 125 lbs; I have steadfastly refused to consider any contact sport, since it always seemed to involve Sam running up against boys 4 inches taller and at least 20 pounds heavier.
Tennis I can handle. The kids who play tend to be of the lithe and wiry variety; besides, rushing the net to tackle your opponent is strictly prohibited. The uniforms aren’t horrendously expensive and are pretty eye-catching (a big selling point, since there is a new girl on the horizon). I played a little tennis when I was younger (as does nearly all my Mom’s family) and understand the game well enough to not illicit eye rolling when I discuss a match, or poorly veiled impatience while I’m instructed on the finer points of the game. Spectators are inclined to be quiet and polite- I have heard horror stories of side-line parents in other sports making the kids, the coaches, and the opponents miserable. I will take a pass on that whole experience.
All in all, I think this will be a good fit for our family; the only drawback is that matches are held right after school, so Chris and I will rarely ever get to attend. We will be subjected to stroke-by-stroke reenactments in our living room, much to the delight and entertainment of the cats, but it’s not quite the same as being there. Yesterday was Sam’s second pre-season match; he played a singles match (unusual for a JV player), which he won, and a doubles match that they lost. He is also sporting his first (minor) injury; he and his partner were both going for a shot on Sam’s side of the court. As Sam was running towards the ball, his partner swung his racket back and nailed Sam right between the eyes! He has a respectable looking bump on his forehead- more of a quail egg then a goose egg- for which, I’m certain, he is receiving satisfactory sympathy from the girl of choice.
Well, flap! Chris just called; he’s being sent to Florida for 2 weeks and he has to leave tonight. Oooh- this can’t be good- they normally give him a week’s notice on these things. I best get home and make sure he has clean clothes- Later, Skaters!