Youngest is wingnut crazy about playing basketball and soccer. Aside from driving his sister batshit crazy, those are his favorite activities. Nearly every single day after school, rain or shine, he is out with his buddies, fellow second- and third-grader studs, playing soccer. If no one is around because it's a torrential rain storm, he plays basketball by himself.
There are a few other hardcore mothers like me who let their boys do this as well. A few have no choice, really; they don't come to pick up their kids for 20 or 30 minutes anyway, either trapped by job circumstances or electing to wait until the traffic nightmare that is school pick-up time diminish. Those are the ones who look at the crazy mothers watching on the sideline with a mixture of wonderment and confusion.
"Don't you have anything else better to do?" they surely wonder.
Youngest gets absolutely filthy this time of year. The boys seem to take a particularly perverse pleasure in unnecessarily diving for balls, in trampling through the mudholes that line the edges of the field, and in doing questionable side tactics or outright illegal takedowns. I am glad to be driving the Jeep, with its 150,000 miles on it and its permanent stench of wet dog, when he sits his muddied bum on the plush, decade-old leather seat.
The organized team sport du jour is basketball, and Youngest plays on a team with fellow nearly-8-year-old boys. Their opponents at Friday night's game were huge. I tried to remember if there is a faux puberty which befalls second graders, thinking that might be the explanation: the other team is just further along that growth spurt. Of course, I'm more apt to believe that it was rigged; that the coach is a league muckety-muck and he loaded his team with all of the Goliaths he could find.
Fear not, I'm not teaching my kid to be such a cynic and a poor sport, to boot.
It did occur to me though that we could give our boys a leg up for the next couple of seasons if we just took the time to school them in the art of trash talking. How shocked players on other teams would be if our little boys started razzing them with put-downs and obscenities.
It would be so f$#kin' cool.
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