The worst thing ever, for a mum

I always thought the worst thing that could happen to my in my mumming career was that one of my kids would desperately want to play football.

I live in Melbourne. I wasn’t born here, but have spent a signifcant part of my life here. Decades, in fact. But not that many decades, just so we’re clear. I am one of a rare find – one who hate, absolutely abhors AFL. I know there are a few of us, but to say it out loud could mean loooooong, uncomfortable silences at dinner parties, barbeques and supermarket checkout lines when someone says “so, what team do you barrack for?” Because that, in Melbourne, is the go-to line you use when you’re in one of those uncomfortably silent moments and you feel the need to say something to the other party.

Kinda like when you’re pregnant or have a new baby and people feel the need to comment on it or refer to it. Because they have nothing else … nothing …

It has been my dread for many years, even pre-kids. What will I do if my kid wants to play AFL? How will I manage? Let me just say, also, this is not mentioned in any of the parenting or what to expect books. Just so you know.

I could endure – just – the early morning, sitting around in the cold, watching games. I couldn’t edure actually watching the game. I really can’t stand it. I’d rather jab my eyes out with the studs on the bottom of a pair of football boots than watch a game. I hate it.

But something worse happened.

He wanted to play basketball.

Oh, praise the lord, I thought – which is interesting as I am not religious in any way, shape or form – as I did an inny-jig (dancing on the inside) and jumped onto the internet to find the nearest club. Screw that, lets go with the club that can put him on a team. NOW!

In my late teens, I lived and breathed basketball. Seven days a week. Three teams

3 Replies to “The worst thing ever, for a mum”

  1. Oh bless. LOL

    I tell this story, often, so you might have heard it before. My son Ash started playing club cricket when he was about 9. When he was 11, I asked him one day what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said, without hesitation, “I’m going to play cricket for Australia”. WHAT!? This kid is a genius, he has a brilliant mind he could do ANYTHING… but play cricket?? What a waste.
    Before I could answer him though he said “..and if I do, if I play cricket for Australia…THEN will you come and watch me play”.
    So the very next Saturday I drove to some god-forsaken town in the middle of nowhere and I sat with all the other cricket mums and I watched him play. He bowled 7 wides in an over (which I didn’t know was possible), he got out for a duck and he dropped several catches in the field. He was the WORST player on the field.
    I was ready to consol him when he finished and tell him “don’t worry, maybe we can try another sport” but he came off the field with a beaming smile and he was radiating joy and he looked at me and said “Thanks for coming, Mum”.
    And I realised that I had missed two years of opportunities to see him smile. Kids don’t need to be the best player, or even a good player, they just want to have fun and they want to know that their parents support them in that goal.
    I never missed another game of Asho’s cricket until just recently. Oh god, now I’m going to cry… As you know, I recently had a stroke, I haven’t been able to go to cricket but 2 weeks ago I mad my husband drive me all the way out there to watch him play. He didn’t know I was coming.
    And when they came off at drinks, my now 15 year old talented cricketer came off the field and looked at me and glowed “Thanks for coming, Mum”.
    I don’t love cricket – what I love is being able to connect with my children and if loving cricket, basketball, softball, karate or whatever it is they want to do – then I’ll love it along side of them, cause that’s what mums do. And I have no doubt you’ll do it too.

  2. LOL – mostly, I just wish I would stop yelling at him and let him find his feet in his own time … I know, logically, he will. I’ve seen it over and over, he will get it.

    I just love the game 🙂 And would love him to like it, too. Am concerned my yelling at him is gonna have opposite effect.

    Also, I hate being that parent that yells a lot 😀

    And, i’m just being honest … hands up who else has cringed when their kids have said “I wanna do ….”??? Hmmm? LOL

  3. Maybe you need to go with a big bag of Minties or Fantales – something to stick your teeth together and stop you from yelling! Or, there’s always duct tape… 😉

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