Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What Happens When Your Kid Grows Up Without Any Team Sports

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I have never had the wherewithall or motor skills to follow or participate in team sports and Mac hasn't either (actually, I've never asked him - they never come up). The entire field of medieval studies has always seemed blessedly devoid of team sports intrigue, even with the squirmishes depicted in marginalia between monkey teams and something like duck teams. Consequently, our children's efforts in the world of team sports have been dabbling at best.  There was a Saturday morning soccer season, which consisted mostly of (not joking) chasing butterflies off the field and tracking airplanes overhead; basketball was deemed absurdly tense considering the point (of putting a ball in a basket); and we all know how we all feel about kickball. Oliver probably knows more about Quidditch than any other sport (although his current reading of (gulp) The Hunger Games may change all that). So Saturday night's impromptu viewing of the last 5 minutes of the Ohio State-Kansas game was unprecedented for the little guy and he watched riveted as Ohio State (for whom we were cheering because our friends were, and because they have renowned Women's Studies and African-American Studies programs) lost the grip it had had on the entire game in the last 3 minutes, and then went on to lose it all 64-62, when a beautiful strategy fell prey to what must have been the highest pitch of adrenaline ever.  It was utterly heartbreaking and we got completely caught up in the action and pathos of it all.  We got in the car afterwards, and within the quiet moment after everyone had buckled up and we'd settled in for the ride, Oliver turns to me and says, with a blend of incredulity and exhaustion, "What a revolting turn of events!" This without any benefit of knowing The Life of Riley. This from the kid who brought you hapless cretins.  He was just stunned at the, well, revolting turn of events for the team.  How could such a thing happen?  The unpredictability of it all was unnerving for us both.  Some day I'll know where to put this little anecdote in the annales of parenting (should we have done more team sports? are there life lessons he's missed?) - for now, Oliver has given me another phrase to apply all too liberally to my every day life.

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