Sports are important for kids, especially girls. That might sound sexist. However, I was a teenage girl at one time and I know that there are few things that can distract from the near-constant thinking about boys other than sports. That is not to say that I like sports. I really don’t. I’ll watch, but I also don’t mind not watching.
I don’t play sports. I suck at them. I am a fairly competitive person. That’s why I don’t play sports, because I suck at them. I want to win, but I can’t.
My lack of athletic ability traces all the way back to seventh grade. To say that I was an awkward kid is an understatement. I was skinny. Nerdy. I had bad hair. I was terrible at sports. I cried easily. It was a bad scene.
In the seventh grade we moved from Ohio to Florida. I also went from going to a small Catholic school with 13 kids in my class to going to a public middle school with a couple of hundred. It was all rather traumatic. To quell my issues I went out for the volleyball team. I think I played 17th string.
Despite my lack of athletic ability and overall goofyness(or maybe because of it) I tried to be the spirit leader of our little team. We were the Port Charlotte Junior High Terriers. Grrr..bark, bark. Anyway, one game I was in the bleachers cheering when I was brutally assaulted. Her name was Janine and she was the meanest girl at PCJH.
She pulled my hair and told me to shut up. I think I cried.
I’m also pretty sure that my older (and much tougher) sister gave her the what for soon after that.
But it didn’t matter, my volleyball career was over. I spent the rest of my junior high and high school years in the Drama Club. I managed to letter by being a wrestling statistician. Lame.
I’m over all of that now.
Anyway, I encourage the twins to play sports, regardless of their skills. John plays soccer all year round. He’s pretty good. John is also tall, which pays off in spades for him. He also runs track when he feels like it.
Taryn has played volleyball for a couple of years and runs track. She has more confidence in her little finger than I had back then. Maybe more than I do now. She might not be the best player on the team, but she tries the harder than any kid I know.
Tonight she had a tack meet. She did long jump, high jump, and a relay. I didn’t get there in time to see the jumps but her team came in second in the relay. I told her what a great job she did, it was true.
Then she told me she did not do very well on the long jump. But, she jumped about 4 feet on the high jump. That sounded good to me, so I told her good job. Taryn then told me that she came in 3rd place. Yay! I said, go you! She looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “Mom, there were only four of us in the high jump!”
This is where I put my mothering skills into effect. Sports are important, right?
“Taryn, it doesn’t matter how you do or whether or not you win. The important thing is that you participate and do your best.”
(That sounds good right?)
This was her reply, “Mom…what parenting book did you get that from?”
I told her to shut up. I didn’t pull her hair, but I thought about it.