Monday, January 10, 2011

Being a Wrestler's Mom means...

…that you have actually told your child on more than one occasion – “You probably shouldn’t eat tonight!”

…that it doesn’t surprise you to see your child running in 4 layers of clothing the night before a match. Likewise, you don’t even have to ask why they are sucking on lemons and spitting in a bottle.

…that you had better have your Christmas preparations done before December when tournaments start, or it’s not getting done.

…that you can recite the concessions offerings of nearly every school that you wrestle at.

…that you go to sleep at night with “Half! Half!” ringing in your ears.

…that you will learn to recognize your child’s name being read over the speakers, no matter how bad the announcer massacres it.

…that you know the names – and weights – of every other wrestler on the team.

…that you will sacrifice every Saturday for three months to sitting on bleachers, eating popcorn and nachos for three meals, and getting home late because the heavyweights always seem to make it into the finals.

…that you have to lose the notion of personal space. Wrestling is a close contact sport, and so are the bleachers. Don’t be offended if a wrestler suddenly reaches under your butt to pull out the bag that you happened to sit over the top of.

…that you will catch beautiful shots of your child on the bottom, but somehow, the ones of them winning are always less technically perfect. (When Tux won his first match, I jumped in the air screaming, nearly wet my pants, and took a photo of my feet and the edge of the mat.)

…that you will forever be frustrated by the fact that wrestlers are always more concerned about taking off the leg bands than posing for a good victory picture. I think that it should go something like this…Referee says, “Winner kid, your mom a photographer? Where is she? Okay, turn that direction. Everyone look that way. Keep your arm up here...did it flash? Nope, hold on, let me suck in my gut and let her get another one...okay, she’s smiling. You can go now."

…that you have albums full of pictures of referee butts because they step in front of you just as you snap. You also have a fair amount of shots of wrestler’s groin areas, which you delete before anyone thinks that you took that shot on purpose.

...that when March rolls around, you will be too busy missing the team and the fun you had to realize that you have Saturdays back to yourself again.

…that you know that wrestling is not for the faint of heart. Your child will be squashed, smacked, beaten, contorted, thrown, and wrenched.

…that you have to be there to help your child stand up at least one more time than they are knocked down.

…that when the match is over, someone will have won. Someone will have lost. There’s no one else to share the blame, and there’s no one else to share the glory. It’s all on your child, and you have to be aware of the pressure that places on them.

…that you have to remember that your child has a coach. You are the mom. Love them no matter what.

…that it’s heartbreaking to see someone else’s arm raised at the end of the match.

…that you’ve tried to find a way to pray that your child will win…without praying that another child will lose.

…that you know that whether they win or lose, your child will develop skills that will last them a lifetime. Not just take downs and reversals, but self-reliance, confidence, self-control, discipline, assertiveness, dedication, strength, attitude, and perseverance.

…that once you have watched your kid wrestle, everything else in life is easy.

A couple of other articles that I thought were great regarding parents of wrestlers:

Spoutin' Out
7 Rules for a wrestler's mom