Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wrestling Moms, help a mother out!

Brutally honest warning!

So, I’m wavering between relatively decent mom and super-psycho-needs-to-be-left-at-home-mom.  As a coach’s wife, I’ve seen my fair share of sports, wins and losses, ugly-spirited parents, great parents, competitors, chumps, good refs, not-so-unbiased-refs, encouraging teammates, selfish kids.... you get the point.  Naturally you would think I could navigate pretty easily through sports situations by letting things roll off my shoulders.  No big deal:  it’s a game – for fun – play hard – go home – get back to life. 


Holy Moly.  My cool headed impartiality is g-o-n-e, gone. Vanished.  I have got to get it together.  How in the world do moms of little athletes keep their heads?  Am I alone in this? 
My oldest two had a wrestling match and as much as I love to watch them, it is so much easier to just get text updates about how they are doing than to see it live.  But I needed to be there.   With a 4 month old strapped to my chest. And a two year old hanging on my leg asking for the 8,395th time for a trophy.  {Trust me, buddy, if there were a 2-year-old bracket, you’d definitely earn a trophy.} And of course, even though there are 400 kids there, my two have to wrestle at the same time on mats about 8 miles apart.  That’s always how it happens.  Which means I have to “coach” one.  No big deal.  I have a good enough understanding of wrestling to coach a 5 year old for 3 minutes.  I can handle this.  Until…..

The crazy moms.  I’m helpfully calling out encouragement and instructions.  “Hips down!  Squeeze! Look away!  Too high!  Off your knees!  Great! Great!  Short time! Short time! NICE!  Good job boys!”  Meanwhile, I’m getting shoved out of my space by the mom (I swear she has cauliflower ear!) who literally has purple veins sticking out of her forehead and spitting while she is screaming insanely at these 5 year olds!  “TAKE HIM DOWN!”  Sounds harmless, but if you could hear the demon-possessed evil hoarse voice with which she yells, you’ll understand what she really means by those words.  “Make it hurt!  Harder!”  Ugh.  She’s louder.  She’s bigger.  She’s just scary.  And so is her kid.  My sweet little twinkle toes boy takes Freak-son down and the Mom-freak screeches “NOOOOO” so loudly that both kids freeze and look at her.  And then little Seth is paralyzed with fear.  Get a life, Freak-mom.  Its just a wrestling match.  They are 5.  This is for fun. 
But then I realize, I’m secretly wishing one of those veins pops and she dies right next to me.  Well, maybe not death.  But at least an injury severe enough that she is removed from my presence permanently. 

And the dads.  Those smug dads.  Those dads that probably were decent wrestlers at one time, (I’m just being nice, I don’t actually mean that) so they think they have free license to loudly assess each opponent their kid meets.  I actually heard one today say, “Remember that movie we watched where the guy just grabbed that other guy’s legs and drove him all the way off the building and he fell down on his back and couldn’t get up? Yeah, drive him like that and don’t stop driving until he is on his back.  His legs are the steering wheel and you are driving him off the building.”  Sounds like a lovely movie you and your son watched, Smug-dad.  And then they tell their kid loudly that “you won’t have any problem with this next kid.”  True, but you may have a problem with his mom, who is extremely tempted to pull the chew out of your back pocket and dump it all over your smug face.  Not that I would...

Seriously?  I’m the normal mom.  The one that just cheers for her kids, loves to see them win, can totally handle it when they lose almost win, and skips home cheerfully, no matter what.  Cuz I see things with an eternal viewpoint.  I know this is just a sport.  Just for fun.  Not a big deal.  * shoulder shrug and relaxed smile  *

ACK!!! It IS a big deal to me, TOO big of a deal.  I need therapy.  While I’m sitting there being the “normal mom”, I slowly realize that I absolutely hate losing, and hate seeing my kids lose.  Instantly, I want someone to blame.  The coaching.  (Not true, Todd Downing is the best.)  The officials.  (Again, not true.  Heroes, they are, volunteering their time to deal with Freak-mom and Smug-dad.)  The tournament.  (Hmmmm, smoothly run and pretty inexpensive.)  The amount of time my kids practice – MUST> DO> MORE.  (No way.  2-3 hours a week for a 5 year old, plus tourney time is PLENTY.) Sigh.  I enjoy denial immensely, but I can’t be stupid:  the problem is me.  My kids are cheering for their teammates, high-fiving each other, skipping out to the van with their medals, talking about their “moves”.  The only one left with that icky feeling is me. 

So, Moms? If you’re in the same boat as me – Freak-mom, married to Smug-dad, or just In-denial-psycho-mom – take this viewpoint with me:  We are blessed.  Blessed to have kids that are brave enough to compete.  Blessed to have kids healthy enough to exercise.  Blessed to see those little faces, whether crying or smiling, learning and growing, and making new friends, and understanding what it means to be a teammate.  Blessed to have time to spend together. Blessed that our kids WANT us to be there.  Blessed to have a home to return to after the tournament.  Blessed to have the head and heart knowledge that is really is just a sport (awesome, perhaps the best sport, obviously ;) ) and that there is SO much more out there for them. 
Maybe that will help put us on the right path.

And Freak-mom and Smug-dad, I’m sorry.  Kinda.  You’re still pretty jerk-face-ish, but you and I are really not that different. 


Wrestler Mom