Okay, I'll just tell you upfront. I spent years priding myself on my distaste and displeasure with high school sports.
I have my reasons. The biggest was probably that as a total geek in high school, I resented those kids and what playing sports meant for them. I resented that a third or fourth string basketball player was more popular and well-respected (by adults as well as students) than the lead scorer on the academic team or the kid who had gone to state for speech every year. I resented that the football team took two or three buses to games while the speech team piled into parent cars because we couldn't afford a bus. I resented that the sports teams had "boosters" and we had, well, ourselves, a handful of dedicated parents and staff members who would do anything for us. Mostly I resented the attitude that the football players, basketball players and cheerleaders were model citizens and that us black-wearing, Nirvana-listening drama geeks were all trouble makers who were probably doing God-knows-what. When, for the record, it was the sports stars who were out doing GKW every weekend.
It's hard for me to get past that. I was anti-social in high school in a very acceptable, kinda-social way. And I just assumed that my kids would be too. Brynna is testing that assumption by being Miss Montessori Popularity. But, really, I'm not worried about that yet. She has years to decide that black is the new pink and that life is cooler in the underground.
In the mean time, however, I will be at the football field Friday nights cheering and screaming and trying desperately to wear red. (I'm also getting in the habit of spelling cardinals during that chant, instead of bluebirds like my (really lame) rebellious soul did in high school.
Why? Because my brother is there. On the field, red jerseyed. I can't help it. If he tried to conquer the world and make us all say "Smurfy" all the time, I'd probably end up expounding the virtues of smurfiness.
And, also, because, well, I kinda-sorta get it. I get the excitement of it. The roar of the crowd and the smell of hot dogs and the band and (God help me) the freakin' cheerleaders. I get how people care. How whole towns (although not ours, really) care. How people arrange their schedules around this.
Which brings me to my next point. Will people PLEASE STOP scheduling things on Friday nights during football season. I can't take it. I can't be two places at once and I can't miss kiddo out on the field, but I can't miss whatever either. I am going to have to miss the first Friday of playoffs. I can't quite wrap my brain around that. How can I do that? I can't. It's impossible. But, yet. I've made a commitment to raising money for my kid's school and I have to follow through on that.
I'm torn. Like Natalie Imbruglia. Nothing's fine, I'm torn.
If you had told me in *cough* 1996 *cough* when I graduated high school that I would one day be crying at a dinner party with poker and drinks and fabulousness because I wasn't in the stands at Cardinal Stadium cheering for the football team, I would have requested that you seek immediate psychological treatment. That I would one day be seriously debating over which was more important: a birthday party or football, I would have laughed until Dr. Pepper came out of my nose. Or orange Shasta. Whichever.
Yet here I am. Lamenting and whining and wondering if I can make it there by the half.