“Huh?” My son had just collapsed into the car after a two-plus hour football practice in full pads in 90 degree heat. He was soaking wet and his pads were stinky. I knew this because he needed me to help him shrug them off. (And I learned early on to spray the pads with Febreze and leave them out on the porch.) I hoped he didn’t feel like he was actually going to die.
“Even if I’m old, I want to be playing a sport.”
“Oh, well, I’m glad you’re that psyched about sports.” And I was. They burn off boy energy and enable on-time bedtime. They virtually eliminate food arguments because kids work up enough of an appetite to eat without being too picky. They build character: the coach told the kids they could wear their game jerseys to school the next day, and he “better not hear about anyone wearing a number getting into trouble.” (I heard the coach say this but I let my son repeat it to me.). They also provide community: my oldest entered a new school this year and didn’t have anyone he knew in class except for two kids on his football team. I asked him who he ate lunch with today, and he said, “other kids from the team.”
“Yeah, and if I’m really old, I could be watching a sport. I could be sitting in my minivan, watching sports on the DVD player.”
(I know he doesn’t think our station wagon is all that cool – he’s told me we should paint racing stripes on it.)