I can be taught. I can!!
But before I tell you what I learned recently, I'll have to make an ugly confession.
I never really liked sports. Of any kind. Oh, I can sit through a baseball game or a hockey game. I cheered on the sidelines through my younger son's wrestling, football, soccer and track phases, but that was an act of parenting, not fanhood. When I was in high school, I was NOT the girl who made cow eyes at the basketball players...generally speaking, I didn't like the jocks any better than I liked the sports they played. Truthfully, I never saw much real value in athletics, except that it kept you from being a couch potato. I've heard the arguments that kids who are involved in sports don't get involved in drugs, alcohol or gangs, but I'm not so sure. I went to my share of those out-in-the-woods drinking parties and there were plenty of jocks there, too.
As is so often the case, I had a lesson to learn. I already knew that the age-old parental curse, "I hope that someday, you have a kid just like YOU!" is the most powerful spell on earth, because the very things that drove my parents crazy about me showed up in my own children. No, this lesson was about the value of sports.
There. I said it. There is value in sports. Only a few years ago I thought school sports were pretty much a waste of time. Fun, but a waste of time. Now my son is a young man with a high school diploma, a couple of college scholarships to choose from and a whole new understanding. Gone are the years upon years of me banging my head against the wall, saying, "You have all the potential to do anything you want, if you'd just apply yourself. You could get straight As, if you'd just apply yourself. You could (fill in the blank with almost anything) if you'd just APPLY yourself!"
He sees it too, now, and it's thanks to the sports. His success in Track & Field has shown him that the world is his for the taking. All my motherly love and encouragement didn't show him that. The fine examples that the sweet hubs and I try to be didn't make the difference. Good coaches who were strong enough to ride his butt, teammates who cheered him on.......and a pile of gold medals sure made him think. For the first time he sees all the talent that we've all be swearing was his. The world is bright with promise for him and he is looking around with new eyes. And it was in high school sports that he found a door to that new, bright world.