All Akimbo: Boys and their sports


By Kim Blakely, soccer mama

When I learned I was carrying a son, the thought that my presence might be required at a few sporting events did cross my mind.

I’m not a big sports fan. I like to go to the occasional Razorback game, and I enjoy a good game of hoops, but really, I just don’t get it. I didn’t grow up watching sports – no one in my family watched sports, actually – and I don’t even have a good feel for all the rules.

But I married a sports fanatic, so I knew this would be my life.

I did not realize, however, that we would be double-booked. I especially did not realize we would be double-booked before Mojo even started kindergarten.

My husband has signed us up for baseball (T-ball) and soccer this spring and there is a good bit of overlap.

How, I’ve asked, are we supposed to get from baseball practice at 5:15 to soccer practice at 6? And how is Mojo supposed to find the energy to play in an 8:30 a.m. soccer game and then go immediately afterward to baseball practice without falling over?

And what about the days when we’re scheduled to play in soccer games and baseball games AT THE SAME TIME?

I’m still waiting for the answer – a shrug just does not count.

I know many moms have gone before me in this and survived. I’m sure I, too, will live through the sports years.

But will I make it through without rushing onto the soccer field and giving the coach that says to one his tiny players, “Are you playing soccer or messing around?” Thankfully (for him) it was not my tiny player he was addressing. I don’t know that I could have been a good sport about that.

And will I make it through this without [severely] admonishing the father standing on the sidelines next to us about telling his son that the other players are better than him? I can’t imagine what kind of father thinks that kind of thing would motivate a kid to play better.

Baseball season hasn’t started in earnest yet – we’ve only had a few practices so far. (I say a few … but I have to clarify that there have been a “few” in just a matter of a week. Who knew there was so much practicing involved in T-ball?!)

I hope Mojo will choose one sport or the other next year, just so his sports-illiterate mom can focus on learning the rules of engagement for one game at a time. (Maybe I can focus so hard on this that I will be able to tune out the parents/coaches who are behaving badly.)

I do think he enjoys all the activity, if only because it helps him bond with his dad. He seems to have fun, and to be honest, I enjoy watching him as much as he enjoys playing. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be a sports convert!

This morning, Mojo woke me up at 5:30 a.m. He’d had a bad dream, he said, about a dragon shooting white gumballs at him. (Pitching machine, anyone?)  He wasn’t sure if this was a good thing, he went on, so he asked me to call the police. The gumballs were everywhere – there were so many you couldn’t even move without stepping on them – and he didn’t know how we were ever going to clean them up.

I quickly gathered my [bleary] senses and said, ‘Ooooh, I know how we can clean up all those white gumballs!”

His curiosity was piqued.

“We can eat them!” I said.

(If he starts chewing on the baseballs at the next practice, will they kick him off the team? I’ll keep you posted …)

Kim Blakely is mom to baby girl “Moxie” and 5-year-old “Mojo”. She’s also a freelance writer who works from home. To read previous All Akimbo posts, click here!