Parent Nerves.

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The Evil Spawn is growing up in all kinds of ways (and some are starting to make me terribly uncomfortable).

She’s aging (9 going on 27).  Her sense of fashion is evolving (heavy on the Bling-Bling).  Her sense of humor is getting slightly more sarcastic (must get that from her mother).  She taller (she’s grown 97 inches in the last 3 days).

I knew these would be inevitable.

She’s also growing up in regards to sports.

Not the Evil Spawn.  But it was Just 3 Short Years Ago.

If I’m being honest, I have to say watching little girls play soccer, basketball, and softball can be challenging.

Actually, I don’t mean challenging.

I mean painful.

It’s worse than watching paint dry.  It’s like watching paint being spilled.  Over and over again (and the girls spilling it don’t seem to understand any of the rules of the game).

She is now at the age where girls are starting to separate themselves.  It’s becoming easier to see the difference between the flower-pickers and the girls who really want to play (not that there is anything wrong with picking flowers…).

As a parent, I wasn’t prepared for this quick transition.

In softball, it’s gone from girls not being able to catch, throw, or hit to travel teams, expensive batting helmets, and pitching camps.

It’s all happening way too quickly.

I knew I wouldn’t be prepared for her growing up, but I didn’t realize it would all happen so quickly.

The bad fashion sense and smart aleck comments I can handle (and maybe even trump).

But I had no idea about the Parent Nerves.

This is a concept that I didn’t even know was a concept until this year.

Turns out watching your child compete in sports is much more difficult than playing them yourself.

I thought it would be fun, but I was wrong.  It’s less fun and more stressful.

When the Evil Spawn plays, I have this strange feeling overtake me.

If feels like I’m going be sick at my stomach (a nice way of saying I’m about to throw up all over my shoes).

The feeling is a combination of public speaking and riding a roller coaster (or spiders crawling up your nose just as you fall asleep… and good luck dozing off without thinking about this blog).

I really believed watching her would be an enjoyable experience.  Maybe even peaceful.

I envisioned myself being the proud parent who just stood on the sidelines and smiled.

Nope.

It’s nerve-raking and traumatic.

My last words of encouragement before she heads onto the field

… “Don’t embarrass the family name.”

Maybe it will get easier over time.

Or maybe, I shouldn’t have reproduced.

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6 Responses to “Parent Nerves.”


  1. GasStationCappuccino
    on Jun 15th, 2010
    @ 6:26 pm

    It could be worse. Lots worse. I won’t even go the places about how bad it could be. However, I will offer a small story I read/heard somewhere.

    A girl was describing her relationship with her father, and she talked about how great they used to get along, and how close they used to be. And the other person asked what happened to change it, and the girl replied that her boobs got in the way. ..

    Basically that Dad couldn’t cope with being there and watching her become more than just his little girl. And he pulled away.

    Don’t. Do. That.

    Keep going to the games. Keep supporting her. Let her know that no matter how bad her fashion sense or fast-pitch skills you will love her.

    And you’ll be fine. So will she!


  2. Theresa Murray
    on Jun 16th, 2010
    @ 2:47 am

    Good luck with this. . . it does get harder but just as quickly, you will find it more enjoyable and then suddenly, you are attending that last game, last concert, open house, etc. You get the idea and you know it well from the other side as well.

    There were many snowy, cold days that I sat at lacrosse games, etc with mine. You see them do something wrong, and you still find a way to cheer or take that deep gasp! Then, just a quickly, there is a flash of greatness and EVERYONE cheers for your child. Of course, this has to be balance with the agony of watching your child go down on the field – injured – and you have to sit and wait to see if you will get the motion to come over (the worst btw).

    Always encourage them to try new things and support them when it doesn’t work (or does). My oldest is now waiting for her second year of college to come along (and she regrets not playing her favorite sport). I remember those early days and sometimes wish they would come back. My youngest is finishing up his freshman year of HS, so there are 3 more years of watching him do his thing. Who knows what will happen for his athletics at the next level . .. he might make it onto the TV screen someday with golf.

    Cherish and enjoy. And as the prior poster says, don’t push her away. Cherish every moment,. Good luck :-)


  3. Diane
    on Jun 16th, 2010
    @ 4:42 am

    My husband won’t stand by me when we watch our daughter play field hockey. I yell. A lot (strictly words of encouragement, of course). And I’m not a yeller. He says he’s a little frightened of this new side of me (I wasn’t like that for my son’s baseball games). For some reason, watching her play gets me really wound up.

    My daughter is 11 1/2. She keeps saying that Jaden Smith is her husband. Along with Grayson Chance and a boy from her school. Is your daughter doing that yet?


  4. Bill
    on Jun 16th, 2010
    @ 7:24 am

    The nerves get worse as they get older & better. Being the parent of the pitcher is one of the worst feelings, I have ever experienced I don’t even bother bringing a chair to the games any more, I don’t sit in it anyway. I pace, I sway, I rock back and forth (could be an early sign of a nervous breakdown), etc. My wife & I have agreed that she will sit in one place & I will be far away from her, it’s just better that way.

    On the other hand, there is nothing better than rehashing the game with my boys, the good, the bad, & the ugly. Sports unites us as a family and when other conflicts arise (grades, girlfriends, money) we are always able to communicate about sports and that helps us through the rough times.

    My son had the privilege of participating in the New York State High School Baseball Championships last weekend. He was a end of the season call up from JV & never saw the field except during warm ups and introductions. He was the bullpen catcher and warmed the pitcher up between innings, but when they lost in the semifinals, he cried just as hard as the seniors and my heart ached just as much as the senior parents. My heart was in my throat the entire game and my son was just a reserve player. The poor mother next to me (she couldn’t sit in a chair either) had three boys playing in the game, including the pitcher. I don’t know how her heart didn’t explode! He learned so much about life during our run to the final four and we learned about him and his empathy for others, because he wasn’t crying because he felt bad, he was sobbing on my shoulder (smearing eye black everywhere in the process) because he felt bad for the seniors and the opportunity to be champions that they lost. That is why we encourage and support our boys when they play sports. The lessons learned last so much longer than the trophies earned.

    Stick with it Michael, your relationship with your daughter will be better for it, but make sure you wear old shoes just in case your stomach isn’t as strong as you’d like it to be.


  5. Jim Jones
    on Jun 16th, 2010
    @ 9:32 am

    You need something to do! Become a soccer ref. or a softball coach (NOT head coach…way too much stress!) so that you have something to actually do. And (if you’re like me) you actually get to know what soccer rules are…my generation didn’t even play it. I also echo what T. Murray wrote: I went to my LAST concert for my HS daughter this month…the years go by so fast, it’s unbelievable. So enjoy every minute of it!


  6. Betty W.
    on Jun 23rd, 2010
    @ 10:09 am

    Being a parent is hard. Really hard.

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