Parenting athletes requires particular obligations-some sport specific, some general to having athletic kids living in the house. Until they move out, we are responsible for keeping track of practices, purchasing equipment and locating lost parts of uniforms.
We calendar games, attend training clinics and volunteer to work in snack shacks or host end of the season banquets. We learn how to run a scoreboard, rake a field and wax skis.
Parents write the checks for tuitions and races, replace cleats on what seems like a monthly basis, and stock the pantry with excessive amounts of food to feed their famished bellies. We know the value of having duffel bags for each sport, and invest in sturdy folding chairs, seat cushions and endless tubes of SPF 45 sunscreen.
Parenting athletes means we wash mouth guards and uniforms, and know the value of Oxi Clean to make grass stains disappear. We wait in cars and on benches for practices to end, and we trudge through heat, wind, rain, and snow to show our supportive faces.
People always ask me how I do it. Why do I drive 125 hours each way, every weekend, to transport my children to a ski hill in the wee hours of the morning. My answer? I just do. Everyone has a busy life. Everyone has places to go, people to see, things to do, jobs to work. And I don’t sleep much.
When your kids have a passion for something, parents make it work. It’s what we do. Our payment is the smile on their faces as they finish a race course, the laugh that erupts as they play with friends in the snow, and the comfort of knowing exactly where they are every weekend night-asleep early in their beds to prepare for the next morning’s 7:00 a.m. training runs.
That’s how I do it. And the why? The photo my daughter texted I received from my daughter last weekend at 7:15 a.m. from the top of Squaw Valley says it all.