I am new to the world of having a child in a team sport. We dabbled in soccer and softball years ago, but they didn't stick.
Basketball, however, is turning out to be the winner in the eyes of my pint-sized baller. Registration fees, uniforms (which I routinely call "costumes"), practice, games.
This is new terrain for me.
So much so that I didn't realize there were admission fees for tournaments.
This weekend, I had to sneak into one. Like a kid into an R-rated movie.
Yep, this Pastor's wife waited until the coast was clear and then non-chalantly snuck passed the admission table. I had no cash.
OK, now that my FIRST confession is out of the way, it's time for a second one.
During one of the games this weekend I wanted to punch a guy sitting in the bleachers. A man who I can only assume was the father of another player.
I've read the stories about parents who coach from the sidelines. I've heard about parents who morph into hideous bad sports once they enter a stadium, ball-park, or field-house. I've never experienced it myself. Until this weekend.
There was colorful commentary, such as, "This is bullsh*t!"
And, when the team gave up possession of the ball, a snarky, "Well, just give them the ball! That's great sportsmanship!"
And, of course, the terribly cliche, "What are you doing out there???!!!!" (no points for creativity on that one.)
Let's get a few things straight. This is 5th Grade recreational basketball. It is not a travel league. There were no try-outs. Or cuts. All the girls play.
I don't think the girls could hear this guy. But for the parents sitting around him, there was no missing it:
Parentental Bad Sport at 3:00.
Parents: your (my) behavior matters.
I promise not to sneak into a game again without paying, if you promise to keep your trap shut.
Joline Pinto Atkins is an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be founding writing at The Cuppa Jo, Fit With Jo, and is a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 10 and 6, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she sweats out any daily angst by running (not with sharp objects) and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask.