My skin is covered in a layer of dirt and I can feel it in my teeth. I didn't keep my promise of quitting Diet Coke because I've been shuttling between fields all weekend. I might not have changed my daughter's diaper because we were in a tense game and she might be covered in dirt from head to toe. And I might be way too excited because I heard I haven't missed out on the online store deadline and I can still order a team sweatshirt that will surely take up a day of the week's wardrobe and be sported every Sunday. Yep, I'm a travel sports Mama.
I won't try to lay it on the line about how I love it so, because to those that aren't "one of us" you probably just don't get it. Although you respect others, you probably roll your eyes about the time commitment and over hype of youth sports. Trust me, I get it. When I saw 30 parents lined up with iPhones grabbing a picture of their daughters claiming their tournament trophy- ya know a trophy like thousands of girls collected at tournaments all over the country today- I even had to take a minute and laugh.
I get it. I get it all. And I love it.
I had one kid that was undefeated and Champions of a tourney this weekend, and I had another that struggled and was defeated in their tourney. Yep, an 0-for weekend. And I loved them both the same.
Yes, there were moments this week where I might have been psycho sports mom- where I caught myself finding joy in the fact that other travel teams are struggling and it's not just us. And I was disgusted at myself for even thinking and feeling that way. Yep, there was a night where I might have gone bat shit crazy because I didn't get my kids showered and in bed until ten at night on a school night due to practices. Yes, there was even a hot second where I was googling other teams records and checking them out. Crazy. Even I'll admit it. Because at the end of the day does any of this travel sports crap even matter? Nope.
But to those of us that cave to it, we get it.
Today, I saw the biggest smile on my daughter's face. I saw the love of a game, a hobby that has helped her grow from a 4 year old barely hitting a ball off the tee to a little girl with hopes, dreams, and friendships that I have no doubt will last a lifetime. Not to mention confidence, work ethic, and a discipline like no other.
And my son- well, I saw a boy that is on a team that is in a "growth" season. New players, new families, tension, disappointment, such high hopes, and everything in between. I also saw a boy ready to show up at the next practice, give it his all, and an ability to start over next weekend. I saw a team full of so much potential its scary... that I have no doubt if they see the course will gel... and do amazing things. Above all else, I saw the promise of a new day and a boy doing what he loves.
For some of us, no matter how much this whole youth sports thing gets bashed or misunderstood we will still love it, swell with excitement at game time, and be those proud parents lined up taking photos because there's no better feeling in the world than seeing your kids do what they love. And when I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw it all staring right back at me. It's a short season we don't want to end. Defeated or undefeated, it's simply a way of life.