Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sporty Mama

A few years ago at the beginning of the NFL season I watched something incredible. Olivia Manning watched as her sons Peyton and Eli played on Sunday night. Against each other. It was the first time that had ever happened for the brothers Manning. My heart ached for her. And now I think, how did she do it?

Bill Cosby jokes on the dvd "Himself" about how he was so excited to have a son (watching this years after Ennis was tragically killed is bittersweet) so he could teach him how to play ball and all the excitement of seeing him play live and make the big play and when his son gets in front of the camera what does he say? "Hi mom!"

And what mom wouldn't in some way want to be like Debbie Phelps watching her son win a historic number of gold medals and become the most decorated Olympian of all time? But Michael is Debbie Phelps' only son. What about moms like Olivia Manning? Blessed with two strong, healthy, talented boys. Who play the same sport? What happens when one brother's big moment eclipses what could have been the other's?

My boys are 20 months apart. Far enough apart that at young ages they will be on separate teams if they are playing in the same sport. But as they get older and hone in on one sport and are teamed together in other ways, what happens if they go head to head?

You would think I would know how to handle this. After all, I have 3 brothers. Two of whom excelled in the same sport (wrestling). Fortunately, they were different weight classes so they never faced each other.

And Joey and Will are 2 1/2 and 10 months, why am I even worried about this now? I don't know if I ever told you, but my husband's family, is extremely competitive. And my husband was a star pitcher in baseball and a pretty good point guard in basketball despite his size. And his youngest brother was an extremely talented college hockey player. And then there are my brothers who were wrestlers and the other brother who played college football. And my mother's family is full of downhill skiers. You see where this is going. There is plenty of athletic talent (despite my personal deficiencies in that area) to go around and competition too. In fact, Joseph already has the killer instinct in this area. And Will has already shown he's not about to be upstaged by anything those big kids can do.

So, while it doesn't keep me up at night, I wonder sometimes about that day when I may show up to a game that both my sons are playing in. On different sides.

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