Sunday, February 23, 2014

Confessions of a sports mom

I have a confession to make.  I am a sports mom.  But most of you already know that.  If my kids were into dance, I would be a dance mom.  If they were into theater, I would be a stage mom.  Whatever my kids were interested in doing, I would support them to the fullest.  I would buy the shirt, the hat, the band and wear them proudly.  Some people still don't understand our lives.  People think we are crazy running from game to game and from a basketball gym to a football field.  Yes, it is insane sometimes, but I love the insanity.  It is an insanity that keeps us sane.  Amongst all the chaos, I have learned some of the most important life lessons through sports.

Yesterday Bo's team learned a lesson to NEVER GIVE UP.  Before yesterday's game, we had only won two games this season.  We were playing the #2 ranked team.  Our boys had a lead and then the other team came back and were ahead by two points.  One of our kids was fouled and made one of his free throws, putting us one point down.  There were five seconds left in the game and we had possession.  Our player passes it in to Bo who dribbles down the court and goes up for a long shot.  Bo misses and one of our players rebounds and makes the shot right before the buzzer.  We won!!!  Now the loss didn't hurt the other team's ranking but man we were so excited.  It was a great opportunity for Bryan to teach the kids to never give up.  Some kids felt defeated before it was over and Bryan said to never quit, anything can happen.  After the game he explained to the players that life will throw you all sorts of challenges.  You will have games to play, sicknesses to fight and stresses to deal with.  You never give up.  You keep on fighting!  It is the same thing that the Lord tells us.  No matter how many times you fall, get back up and keep going.  He gives us hope!

I believe in winning and losing.  I am sorry if you don't agree with me but I am not of the mindset that everyone wins.  You either win the game or you lose the game.  You feel a sense of pride when you get the trophy or you get the title.  On the other side, if you lose, you have a greater desire to work hard to get the trophy the next time.  However, losing a game doesn't define you as a person.  Sometimes the greatest moments in your life come out of your losses.  We have lost games where I have been so proud of my kids and how they played.  They gave it their all.  They put their heart and soul into the game.  Though they came up short of the trophy, they gained so much more insight into who they are.  It's like being passed up on a promotion.  Yes you lost that position but then later on comes something better that was meant just for you at just the right time.  You can't win them all, but you can always keep the hunger and desire to win.  Come back from your loss with your head high, a fresh perspective, and a passion to persevere.  That is winning!

Sports help build relationships.  Some of my best friends have been made through sports.  We have sat together for hours watching our kids in 100 degree weather, or wrapped up in blankets or with rain ponchos on.  We have taken deep breaths together when one of our kids gets hurt.  We have made goodie bags, peeled oranges for half time snacks, and bought every color of Gatorade known to man.  We have cried when our kid was in pain and we have hollered when they make a mistake.  We have encouraged one another and have even had difficult words with one another.  It is like a family and it can get dysfunctional.  But sports parents know what it is like to love more than your own child.  We have the car pool schedule down to an art.  We know what it feels like to watch kids you have known since they were 5 start to grow up, talk like men and become taller than you.  We are happy with the winning basket no matter whose kid made it.  We are more interested in raising good young men than we are just with their performance in a game.  With my sports family, I know that my kid can go with any of them and they will protect them, discipline them and have their best interest at heart. 

Sports build character.  I see a lot of people complain about how cut throat sports can be.  But every area of life can be cut throat.  Believe me, I have a 13 year old so I have been around long enough to have seen it all.  Yes I have dealt with a husband who has lost his cool at a game.  I have dealt with parents cussing my husband out.  I have dealt with people mouthing about my kid.  I have dealt with people who are never satisfied no matter what you do.  I have dealt with my own desires of wanting to tell someone off and instead harbored anger and resentment.  But those experiences have only helped me to want to be a better person.  I can truly say that there is more good than bad that comes out of it all.  It is how you deal with those situations that helps build your character.  With each year that passes, I just want more and more to be a family that influences people.  I have always said that once you are in our sports family, you will always be.  (Unless you cuss my husband or kid out LOL)  I believe in relationships and loving on people.  I believe in encouraging people and pointing out the good in people.  I believe in lifting people up when they are down and embracing their gifts.  I believe in admitting when people are better at something than I am and rejoicing in their successes.  I believe in extending a hand when someone is down.  That is the character I want to have and want my kids to have.

You may think I am crazy for relating sports to life but this is my life.  I think deeply about things.  I try to take daily experiences and learn from them.  Whether it is watching a basketball go through a net, or a football crossing the goal line or a glove catching a ball, sports teach me a lot.  I have learned so much about my husband, kids and friends through our sports seasons together.  This is my family outside of my blood relatives.  I love their kids.  I pray for them.  Their burdens are mine to carry also.  I thank God for placing each one of them in my life during the perfect season.  We don't win every game and we don't always have the same schedule.  But we are on the same team.  It's a team that has a desire to win the prize but has a greater passion to win in life.

Praying for each one of you that has become a part of our sports family.  May the Lord protect each one our players and give us wisdom as parents to make the right decisions.  May they be successful by the Lord's standards and not just by the world's standards.  May they be the heads and not the tails.  May they stay humble and have a clean heart.  May we always stand with one another to lift each other up.  May grace and mercy follow us all wherever we go.