Friday, May 9, 2008

How Many Sports Teams is Too Many?

I was sitting on cold, mud-covered aluminum bleachers last weekend watching my 9-year-old son’s illegal Little League game. (I say “illegal” because the town had officially closed the fields – thus leading selfish parents such as me to jump with glee upon getting a free pass for the afternoon – but the coaches of the two teams were able to work out some kind of agreement to have the game proceed, despite the inclement weather.)

Keeping one eye on the field as I silently prayed my kid wouldn’t strike out again and occasionally glancing over at my 6-year-old who was tossing a football to himself while decked out in a puffy, “muscular” Power Ranger costume with a Tom Brady football jersey on top, I couldn't help but overhear the conversations of the parents around me. The subject: How crazy their spring schedules have become, what with all their kids’ sports activities.

One of my favorite pastimes is bitching about the insanity of the youth sports culture, as I, queen hypocrite, drive my kids all over town and beyond to their bazillion practices and games for their single sport per season per kid. However the parents sitting behind me make me look like a mere poser.

“Two sports per kid you can do,” one dad said. “Three gets kind of nuts.”

While I bit my lip and tried to imagine the hell that would be managing six different game and practice schedules for six different teams – then doing all that laundry, dealing with the late nights the kids would be required to log in order to complete their homework, getting them to all the practices and games, paying for all the gas my mini-van would suck up, coordinating with The Spouse about what kid needed to be where when – I heard another parent say that her three kids were in three sports each. And I nearly fell off the bleachers.

I can’t imagine how these folks get by without losing their minds and without feeling as though their hair is on fire all the time. When do they eat? When do they have time to cook a meal? When do they sleep? When does homework get done? When do the kids get any downtime? How do the parents get their own work done? No wonder my Eldest Son was angry with me for refusing to let him sign up for both soccer AND baseball this spring. He must be the only kid in his grade not playing sports 24/7.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Neither of my boys are in organized sports and I still feel like I'm running around with my hair on fire. I'm really glad neither one likes soccer. ;)