I've read them all and I get it. In fact, I agree. Ya know, the recent blogs about how we are robbing our children of a childhood in the high stress, overscheduled environment where travel sports and activities are on steroids. Authors are quick to write how parents are putting stress on children, making them specialize in one sport with the hopes of raising the next Olympic star. I read how youth sports are hijacking our lives and how too much competition too soon is bad for your kids and your family.
When I read these things, I take them to heart, because we are that family. We are that family that is overscheduled, run from one practice to another, eat more dinners from a snack bar on a bleacher than we do at our own dinner table, break our bank with hotels for tournaments, and sport obnoxious magnets on the back of our car about our activities. We are that family, and we are happy.
Yes, as a mom, I bitch and complain sometimes when I want to have a night off with nothing- but when we do, we miss it. And so do my kids. This weekend, I had one of those moments where it all came to a head. Games were cancelled and it happened to be the weekend where my in-laws were visiting. Our son was scheduled for a 5:30pm game and the field was perfectly fine midday. We scrambled to get teams together, find umpires and ended up playing- and while all this commotion was going on, I thought to myself- this is CRAZY. Let's just go enjoy this beautiful day.
The hubby and I both grew up playing sports. My weekends were filled with traveling all over the tri-state area for soccer and my hubby was an All-American swimmer and stud baseball player. I traded sports in to party my college away and my husband played D-1 ball. And ya know what, we both wouldn't change it for the world. While society might say sports got us nowhere, we beg to differ. We are who we are because of them. And when our parents make suggestions to us about how we are doing a little too much with our children, need to make more time for the holy spirit in our lives and what is really important, I want to just look at them and say thank you. Thank you for the suggestions, we appreciate them... and thank you for raising us the way you did and instilling the hard work ethic, the love for a game, and more importantly for giving us a childhood that was so wonderful that we are trying to replicate it with our own children. You should be proud of that. During the day yesterday, I was about to lose it on my hubby because he was so hell bent on playing a ball game, but when I saw him with his baseball team that only had seven players on the field in the freezing cold last night playing a game that probably should have just been cancelled, I understood. I understood completely. He simply wanted to show his parents a glimpse into our life- the one that we enjoy and love- the one that we don't feel is robbing our family of anything, but that brings us together as a family.
So yes, I'll continue to read those blogs, and I'll continue to agree. I'll get that some of our friends don't "get" why we run from activity to activity instead of just sending our kids outside to have just as much fun playing on their own. I'll still have those thoughts of why the hell am I picking up babysitting jobs to be able to pay for private pitching lessons for our son when my hubby was a pitcher. I'll agree that being at the pool at 5:30am on summer mornings is ridiculous, but I'll smile when I see the pride my son gets from it. I'll be reminded every day when I walk into my gym and see a star Virginia Tech football player is now a trainer just like any old normal person and didn't make it to the pros. And when I brag on Facebook that my daughter did great at a gymnastics meet, I'll know that if she was going to be an Olympian, she'd be at training facility out west by now, and when I broadcast that my son hit a homer, trust me, I know he's playing the lowest level of travel ball possible and there's so much more talent out there. We know that our kids aren't the next Jennie Finch or Bryce Harper, but that they are our children that we are so proud of and love. Trust me, we get it all.
I just hope people get people like "us." Our children still play xbox, frolic in the fields with their cousins, put schoolwork and academics first, and pray at night. We live, laugh, and love hard. We are just chasing our dreams of happiness... and at night we kiss each other goodnight- it just might be followed by a high five and a love pat on the ass. :)