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Wheaties box Cover Girls…or not

October 12, 2012

Another city league soccer season has come and gone.  The Sparkette endured bumps and bruises, and Mr. Sparky and I endured whining about said bumps and bruises.  And yet, she always wanted to go back for more.  We’re now on sports hiatus until early spring when city league softball begins.  Then we’ll begin a new round of bumps and bruises.  And whining.

The Sparkette and her peers were quite young when they began playing sports in the community.  Now they are teenagers, some of them driving themselves to their games.  Some of them grew into their bodies and are strong and coordinated.  Some of them are still waiting for that to happen.  And I know that for some, it never quite will.  But I love that they keep showing up, keep kicking, swinging, reaching…even when they miss.

I was always lousy at sports.  I was one of those kids who never quite grow into their bodies, who never really become fast or strong.  There’s a lot of shame in that when you’re a kid.  You get to be the last one picked when teams are choosing sides.  You get shorter turns on the playground and in gym class so the real athletes can show off their skills.  You can feel the rest of the kids rolling their eyes during your shorter turns.  And you just want it to be over so you can go read the book hidden in your desk.

I hated gym class when I was a kid.  Not in the very beginning, though.  When we were all really little it was more like extended recess with structure.  But it didn’t take long for it to become about performance.  The gym teacher liked the kids who could perform.  The rest of us were tolerated.  I don’t remember ever being encouraged by a gym teacher.  I don’t remember ever being given hope that I could potentially be stronger or faster or more coordinated.   It really never occurred to me that maybe I could.

I’m so glad the Sparkette and her peers are willing to come out and just play.  They encourage each other.  They laugh.  They have fun.  When one of the girls knocks down someone on the opposing team, it’s nothing to hear her immediately say “oh!  I’m so sorry…are you ok?!?” and offer a hand up.  Sometimes they really don’t seem to care very much who wins.  Other time they talk smack…and then crack up.  It’s a glorious kind of goofy.

And I love watching it.

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