F. loves lacrosse. Really, what’s not to love? Football-like pads. Bulky helmets. A big stick. Throw in the lacrosse swag of crazy monkey shorts and his current obsession with wearing a cup and it’s a sport made in F. heaven.
The weather’s close to perfect for tonight’s game and we toss in an extra canvas chair for the sidelines. Someone always needs a place to sit.
I call out to a friend and wave her over to the extra chair. “I’m so glad he’s found his thing,” Chaz says to me as we settle in to watch.
My friend’s son is naturally athletic. He possesses an uncanny grace when he darts between players and spins away, cradling the stick. His arm bends back and sends the ball in an effortless arc across the field.
F. is not. It’s not from lack of (our) trying. We signed him up for soccer. Too much running. Swimming. What’s with all the kicking? Basketball. I just like to bounce the ball, why do I need to walk at the same time? Then we found lacrosse.
“It’s nice when your kid finds something they like,” my friend says.
I find myself daydreaming about an older F. One who struts around the halls with a proud swagger. Confident and self-assured, he’s a star “middy” on the varsity team.
For boys, involvement in sports can guide them through difficult, challenging years. Plus, there’s something invaluable about learning to work together as a team. I want my kids to practice being gracious winners and good losers.
That’s when I turn and see him.
“What’s he doing?” I point at F. He’s standing alone on the field, pounding on his helmet with a closed fist and shaking his head. The ball and the action are at the other end of the field.