by Risa Green
I’d like to go on record as a parent by saying that I hate organized sports. Okay, wait: I don’t really have anything against the actual sports themselves – I mean, I like watching them on tv and everything and I enjoyed playing them when I was a kid – it’s just that I hate having to deal with organized sports, you know, as a parent. Now that fall is just around the corner, I’ve been receiving emails from my kids’ soccer coaches regarding the snack schedule (fruit or granola bars only, please), game times (could be anytime on Saturdays from 8-4, depending on the week) and practice schedules (Wednesdays at 6:00 pm. Kill me now), and each one is like a smack in the face, pulling me out of my wonderful, lazy summer and back into the reality of school-year hell. Just the thought of schlepping to games on Saturdays at eight am for my son and then again at two pm for my daughter, or to post-dinner practices every week for three months straight, makes me want to crawl under the covers and never come out. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. There’s a reason why AYSO is nicknamed All Your Saturdays are Over. And yes, I know it’s cute to watch them play in their little uniforms and their cleats and shin guards, but really, it’s not so cute that I couldn’t live without it.
And I would – live without it, that is – if it weren’t for my husband and his stupid mantra about how team sports build character, blah, blah, blah. I mean, yeah, I’m sure they do, but isn’t one team sport enough for said character building? Like, couldn’t they just play basketball and call it a day? Do we really have to do soccer, basketball, and softball/tee-ball? Is it really necessary to ruin every Saturday of the entire school year when the damage could easily be limited to just one season? Apparently, the answer is no. Apparently, it is important to expose them to all sports early on so that they can figure out which one they love enough and/or are really good at, to pursue later. Because, you know, they will pursue one later. If I ever dare suggest that maybe one or both of our kids might not love or be good at sports, my husband simply puts his hands over his ears and sings really loud so that my poisonous woman words won’t infiltrate his sports-loving guy brain. So fine. They’re going to play. But I told him, any games before ten am are his responsibility, because I’ll be sleeping in.