It's still surreal that my parenting concerns no longer involve sleep schedules, breastfeeding, and checking the weather when deciding between the Ergo and the ring sling before an outing. I put so much goddamn time and energy into researching, selecting, and executing every detail growing, birthing, and babying my kid, it almost seems unfair that a period that necessitated so much planning and consideration ultimately flew by in a sleepless, blissed out, stressful blip. Then I find myself on the sidelines, thinking the things every parent is thinking during weekend sports, and, well, I realize that very few things really change when it comes to raising a child that will stress you out and make you so damn proud, all at once.
The small human who once didn't even have fully fused skull bones — whose every minute life details I once agonized over and obsessively researched — is a kindergartener who can shower independently from start to finish, reads me bedtime stories, and rolls his eyes when I'm being a drag. It's a mindf*ck, to say the extreme least, but like, a mighty nice one. But, again, some things just don't change. Specifically, weekends. As long as your kid is still a kid living in your house, your weekends never look the same as they did pre-baby, and they actually never stop changing. With every new phase of your child's development comes new things you do on the weekends, things they do on the weekends, and things your family does on the weekend together.
A very particular part of an average weekend with kids? Sports. When it's your turn to dive into this lifestyle, here are some of the thoughts that will inevitably cross your mind while you're plugging away on the sidelines:
"My Kid Is Exceptionally Talented"
OMG HIS FOOT MADE CONTACT WITH THAT BALL, I'M CALLING THE SCOUTS.
"My Child Is Bringing Shame To The Family"
Maybe if I don't look bothered right now, no one here will know that the kid lying in the middle of the field making "snow angels," in the middle of summer, is mine.
"Team Sports Reinforce Some Antiquated Sh*t That I'm Not About"
You know, it's fine that my kid doesn't want to listen to the coach. I've taught him to be independent and self-determined! Team sports are still conducted in a way that teaches kids to be mindlessly obedient! This is so regressive and offensive and sexist? F*ck it, this is somehow sexist, I just know it. Why am I participating in this? Why am I letting my innocent, beautiful child be indoctrinated into this cult?!
"Team Sports Are Actually Important & The Best"
LOL, OK, none of the above is actually true. I drank too much coffee because I'm very bored. This experience is, in fact, teaching my kid lessons and social skills that he probably wouldn't get elsewhere, and being forced to listen to the coach is helping him realize that with knowledge comes authority.
"My Ass Is Falling Asleep"
Oh damn, I can't feel my left cheek at all anymore. When is this over again?
"How Much Can I Look At My Phone Without Being Judged?"
Look, I'm definitely paying attention to my kid, who is lovely and amazing and captivating. But also, they are literally just running in circles and I have some North Korea news to panic about on my phone. Where's the line between "sneaking a respectable peek" and "does that woman even love her child?"
"There Are Not Enough Snacks Or Coffee Here"
The powers that be expect us to pay them to give up our Saturdays to sit in uncomfortable seating situations that make our asses fall asleep, and they don't even have the basic decency to put out some bagels or something?
"I Really Hope No Other Parents Talk To Me"
Honestly, please don't make this worse than it already is.
"Can I Go Back To Bed After This?"
Is this enough activity to justify being lazy for the rest of the day?
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