The worst sports mom ever

It’s possible I am the worst sports mom ever.

I’m not sure if they are giving awards, but if they are, I think I’m in the running.

There’s probably a big trophy that shows a mother sitting with her head turned away from the action as she engages in conversation with the parent next to her. The runner-up gets a plaque that shows her in line at the concession stand (or port-a-john) every time her child hits a home run.

Can’t watch and talk

The reason I am a terrible sports mom is because I kind of forget to watch my kids sometimes.

I mean well. I arrive all poised for the sport and ready to cheer. Then I run into a friend or six and I end up yakking it up with my fellow sport parents. Some I see every few days, others once a week, still others only once a season or even annually.

We have met the nicest people on the sidelines. Over the many years my children have played sports, we’ve gotten to see and know the same families over and over. We enjoy each other’s company and I love to see their children grow. It’s a mini-reunion.

I’ve never been any good at trash talking the other team. There is just no good way to say “You’re going DOWN kid! We’re going to mop the field with ya and say hey to your mama for me!”

Missed. I am used to being told “hey, your kid just scored!” and I turn away from the conversation toward the already-over action and clap far too late, “Yay honey, good job, go!”

Sometimes by the time I get this out my child is already sitting on the bench. Oops.

Basically, with my completely lax attitude to cheer duties I assure that no one gets a big head on my watch, although I do believe in cheering every effort.

I once overheard a friend’s child say, “if Mrs. Seabolt says ‘Good Hustle,’ you know you messed up.”

Sometime my commitment to cheering at all costs is perhaps not as appreciated as I might like.

Bigger picture

This isn’t to say I don’t love sports. I do. I think athletic events of all types encourage good health, good sportsmanship and, in the right crowd, good humor.

I just tend to think that you can’t take it too seriously.

For the most part ,we are there to have fun. At least I am. As someone who would only run if something was chasing me, I do so enjoy other people pursuing fitness.

It starts when your little player runs the wrong way around the bases or tangles himself up in the soccer goal. Later, your child may make his first varsity goal — for the other team. If you can’t laugh at that — then your funny bone is broken.

Can’t get enough

The end of most seasons tends to catch me off guard. I’m minding my own business enjoying another weekend afternoon waving to friends and eating nachos, when someone mentions idly that today is the last game.

I’m inevitably crushed. What? What will I do without my people? My crowd? My sense of belonging that comes from washing matching jerseys late Friday night in preparation for an early Saturday game?

I hear parents say they are glad to see a season end so they can have more free time. I don’t understand this. Maybe I’m just too comfortable being socially sidelined, but at the end of every season, as we say goodbye to another coach, another team, another stage of life and many friends, I find myself just a little bit bleacher bummed.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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