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The All Sports Mom – article by Paula Schmitt

There’s just one word I like to use to describe participating in an organized youth sport program; intense.  Nowadays, kids, both boys and girls, are offered through their schools or the community, an array of organized sport programs which are played throughout the year.

In the fall, soccer and/or football are in the hot seat.  Soccer is this amazing game where the players run around on the field kicking and heading the ball, but can not use their hands in any way, except for the goalkeeper.  The players desperately try to kick the ball across the field and into the 8 feet by 24 feet goal of their opponent. I’m tired just watching this game, please!

Football is like nothing else I’ve ever seen before…running at full speed while holding on to a ball only to get plowed down and crushed by players from the opposing team.  I wouldn’t be able to stand up straight for a week after that hit!

During the winter months basketball is the game of choice.  In this game, an orange ball is bounced up and down while running up and down the court. There is a small round hoop in which a player throws the ball and hopes that the round, orange bouncy ball will make its way through the hoop—I’m sweating as a spectator with this game!

Also during the winter months hockey is played by youngsters.  This is one wild game for sure.  The players use a stick to whack around a solid, heavy puck and the object of the game is to ram the puck in to the opponent’s goal.  Sorry, no checking for me, good grief!

Come spring it’s time for baseball.  Ah, now there’s a sport.  Nine players out on the baseball field, all standing around scratching and spitting—Ugh!  A ball is thrown from pitcher to batter and POW, the small, hard ball sails in to the field and a player tries to catch the ball in his glove, hopefully not with his teeth…Ouch!

The other spring game is lacrosse.  Who invented this game, anyway?  Players run around on a field holding a stick with a tiny net on the end, desperately attempting to catch a rock hard ball and the rules allow them to beat at each other with these sticks.  Haven’t I taught my kids not to hit others with a stick…hello!

Now I, the mother of four children, four boys that is, know just about everything there is to know on youth sports.  My garage is home to every sports ball imaginable, and to top it all off, my boys inform me regularly that they need more balls because we don’t have enough—the nerve of these kids! 

Some days I feel like the old saying, I’m a chicken running around with my head chopped off.  Running them to and from practices, running to and from scrimmages, running to a parent’s sport meeting, and running to the games.  Oh, but a nice, relaxing soak in the tub sounds so good right now!

When I stop and think about it all, the hustle and bustle and time spent with my children and their sports, I realize how important all this is, not only for my kids, but for me.  So, I will continue to fill out those sport registration forms, and rearrange my busy schedule, and prepare dinner at crazy hours of the night.  I will, yet again, trek out to several sporting good shops to find the equipment needed, including yet, another ball. 

No, I wouldn’t change anything for my youth sports world.  I have come to realize that I am The All Sports Mom, and it sure feels good.  There’s one more thing I’ve realized…I’d better fill up with more gas!

About the Author

Paula Schmitt is a writer and the “All Sports Mom” to four boys living in Central Vermont.  When she’s not swamped in laundry, grocery shopping and writing deadlines her hobbies include dusting, cleaning bathrooms and traveling to her son’s sporting events.  She also writes a column, Mommy Mediator, at JustForMom.com and a column, The All Sports Mom, at SanityCentral.com. Paula has been published in the Herald of Randolph, WriteFromHome.com, RaisingOurKids.com, Witwords.com, iparentingstories.com, and several other parenting sites.   In between her kids play dates, music lessons and unexpected sports injuries she is attempting to write her first fiction novel and non-fiction parenting humor book.  She will also be hosting a parenting radio talk show, launching spring 2004.

To read more of her columns and parenting tips visit http://paulaschmitt.netfirms.com and for some much needed adult conversation email her at pj5@sover.net