This post if part of the weekly Spin Cycle assignment from Sprite’s Keeper!
I was an overly involved sports fanatic mom. My #1 & #3 both cheered and dabbled in other sports for a while, basketball, softball, gymnastics, dance. Our #2 daughter was a gym rat for sure. She did the same varied dabbling when she was younger but by the time she was in middle school she knew that basketball was her favorite by far. She played almost year round. She played for her school teams and she played AAU basketball almost year round. We even traveled to Florida every summer for the Nationals. She also played Volleyball, Soccer and ran track in high school.
Poor #3 spent most of her elementary school years in high school gyms, in the stands, reading. She spent so much time in the gyms that when #1 made the basketball cheerleading squad in the 8th grade, #3 knew the motions and words to EVERY cheer. #3 was I think in Pre-K or Kindergarten then. She would stand at the bottom of the stands and correct the cheerleaders if they messed up the words or motions. She was such a constant in the gym that at the cheerleading banquet that year, the coach gave her a trophy for acting as their “unofficial mascot”. It was funny when years later she cheered at the same school where she had won the trophy and the coach (from #1’s squad) was her gym teacher.
I spent many years almost overwhelmed running from one sports activity to another and working fulltime. I’m not complaining. I really did enjoy it, but, sometimes it became a bit much because I don’t know how to say no. Through the years of school, I think I was “team” mom, Secretary of the “Sprit” Club (cheerleading) and President, Treasurer and Secretary of the Basketball Club, Secretary, Treasurer and President of the Volleyball Club and we had started out own AAU team out in our area because there wasn’t one acceptable out here and #2 really wanted to play year round and many of those positions I held simultaneously. And I also did my time baking and selling cookies for cheerleading and running the concession stand (as well as buying the food for it) and ran the clock for the boys home varsity basketball games (I refused to miss watching my daughter play). So, yeah, I had a hard time saying no because so many other parents found it so easy to.
We (my husband and I) also organized and put on the spaghetti suppers at their elementary school every year and worked in various positions with the PTA and did the “chuck wagon” for the fall festivals every year. I guess you could say we were VERY active parents.
During basketball season it was particularly hectic. On any Saturday that they had home games starting when #2 was a freshman our days went something like this: Get to the gym EARLY (usually by 11 AM for the noon game) Watch #2 play on her Freshman team for the first game of the day. During the boy’s Freshman games I would either have to bake and sell cookies for the cheerleading squad OR work in the concession stand for the basketball team. During the JV games (both boys and girls) I would head back into the gym to watch #1 cheer. During the girls varsity game I would watch because daughter #2 although she was a freshman would play “up” on the Varsity squad. Then during the FINAL game of the day – the Varsity boys game, I would work in the concession stand or do the cookies if I had worked in the concession stand earlier. Then after the boys game it would be back in the concession stand to help clean and count the money to be deposited on Monday. We would usually not get home until close to midnight on Saturdays.
During the week it got a little trickier. You see, the Freshman and Varsity squads played at different schools during the week. There were less hours to be able to play during the week since they had school the next day so whatever school they were playing against, the Freshman would play at one school and the Varsity and JV would play at the other. So if one played home the other played “away”. This proved to be tricky since #2 played on both squads. I would have to go to the Freshman girls game say at their school and as SOON as the game was over (sometimes we’d even have to leave a few minutes early) I would have to take her and jump in the car and speed as fast as my little car could take us to the “away” game so that she could get there by the time the Varsity girls played. And it proved to be tricky because they were only allowed to play 5 quarters per day which meant she could either play her entire freshman game, which meant we’d have to rush like crazy to get her to the other school so she could play ONE quarter! Or sometimes she’d play 2 or 3 quarters of the Freshman game so she could play ½ or more of the varsity game depending on who they were playing. As much as I loved watching her play I was never so glad for a season to be over because I was exhausted.
By the time #2 was a senior she was pretty much virtually playing every minute of every volleyball game and every Varsity girls’ basketball game. During her senior year they built a new gym on the opposite side of the school and it was behind schedule so it didn’t even get to open until their final regular season game of the year. It just happened to also be “Senior” night. This meant that each senior got to be recognized and introduced with their families and they got to walk across the gym and be honored, etc. It also happened to be the night that they played their BIGGEST in country rival school. And true to form #2 played her best game ever of her high school career. She had the most points she had ever scored in a game, the most assists, the most blocked shots. She had a triple double that night. She ended up blocking the shot of one of her best friends (on the rival squad) who happened to play on her AAU team, which kept them from scoring and assured their victory. And I ended up running the clock for the first boy’s varsity game played in that gym. They ended up going to state that year so they did actually get to play a few more games in that gym before they all graduated. And having her senior year culminate in them going to state made all that craziness worth it.
And as crazy as those years were, it was so worth it. I think we hardly slept. And even after the older two were graduated and gone from home, it didn’t get much better because #3 cheered for her high school football squad and their competition squad AND she cheered for an all star squad which traveled to competitions (as far away as Indianapolis, IN, Dallas, TX and Orlando, FL. And as much as I’m happy to “have my life back”. . . that WAS my life for a while and I DO miss it. I ain’t gonna lie. Must be crazy! But I love my kids.
oh, I felt compelled to add… the picture above from the paper where the girls are hugging their basketball coach? Poor guy… yes, that is a rip in the back of his pants! he got SO excited when the won that when he jumped up his pants ripped and the newspaper photographer captured it in all it’s glory! We still laugh about that!