Seriously. I will not shut the fuck up about tennis (our chosen sport). That is the principal clue that I’m becoming one of those annoying sports parents.
Tonight I was posting a photo to my Instagram page. After I checked in at the tennis courts on Facebook, of course. After the photo uploaded I looked at my most recent photos. Tennis. Homeschooling. Weekend. Food. Tennis. Tennis. Tennis. Dog. Dog. Tennis. Tennis. Tennis. Breakfast before tennis. Dog. Tennis. Husband’s birthday. Book I’m reading. Tennis. Tennis.
I’m so annoying. If I were one of my Instagram followers, I’d be saying out loud: “alright, we get it already …you guys are into tennis – gah!”
Or my Facebook friends. My poor, innocent Facebook friends that are probably all asking themselves daily if we really should be connected.
Because honestly. Who would want to call an annoying sports parent like me their “friend?” Not me, that’s for damn sure.
My posts have been rapidly derailing into nothing but updates about tennis. I’m like one of those new parents that won’t shut the fuck up about their baby belly, their pending birth, the dilation of their cervix, and the subsequent 16 million photos of their baby all making the same, typical baby faces.
Only about tennis. Tennis is my new baby.
There’s the basic update that no one really gives a shit about.
Then there was that time I tried to express frustration, which people also didn’t (and shouldn’t) give a fuck about.
Occasionally I try to fit in that we are out for tennis by talking about something else, as if that’s going to trick people into believing that I’m posting anything other than TENNIS TENNIS TENNIS OMG OMG TENNIS TENNIS!!!!
The growing sense of arrogant entitlement.
Posts that will one day be proof that I’ve become a truly annoying, and borderline intolerable, sports parent.
And, the occasional moment of acceptance and defeat.
I’m sure if we are Facebook friends, you unfollowed me a long time ago. I myself feel like punching myself in the crotch just reading over all of these.
The thing is that I’m not *really* the one doing the tennis playing. I mean I’m facilitating the practicing. Serving the balls, paying the bills, loading the ball machine, shouting the occasional annoying-sports-parent slogan (my favorite is: “let’s move it – tennis is a sport of movement, not lounging around!!!!”).
But I’m not the one taking the lessons or playing the games. I won’t be the one playing the tournaments, and I won’t be the one to either win them or lose them.
I’m just the mom who is obsessed. And annoying. And overly supportive. Did I mention annoying? To some, I may be lumped in with the sports parents that live vicariously through their kids. They never did anything worth a damn with their lives (which most of them will admit to), so they have kids and live vicariously through their kids’ achievements. But to get to those achievements, especially because a lot of times the kids don’t even want to do whatever it is the parents have them do; they have to push. And push. And push. And push their kids in ways that are entirely unreasonable to keep it going.
I’m not one of them. There are a lot of them out there, but – honestly – anytime anyone in my house says “this has gone too far,” or “enough is enough,” I’m perfectly prepared to retire the tennis gear forever.
There are more clues out there, though. That I’m not one of those trophy parents, but still among the annoying variety.
A while ago, I decided I would build tennis into our daily routine. Not just the practicing, but the living and breathing of it. I mean everyone in our house wanted to do it that way, so I figured – hell, why not? Why not add 30 minutes watching tennis channel to part of the breaks we take during the day of homeschooling? At least then three hours of sitting on our asses watching match after match don’t go by without realizing it. Why not add yoga for better balance in tennis to the morning routine of get up-wash-your-face-brush-your-teeth-eat-your-oatmeal nonsense?
And then there’s the whole bit about never shutting the fuck up about it.
Yesterday we went to my sister in law’s baby shower. It, in and of itself, was the most intolerable activity of my year; so I figured I would match that intolerableness by being intolerable myself. By networking my way around the room, between family and my mother in law’s friends; people I had never met before, and just innocent neighbors that had noticed a party going on and wandered in (no really…three people there were of that variety, and I envy them for such gusto). All the while, when people asked “what do you do?” or “how are things going,” the conversation turned to our preoccupation with sports. Tennis. Fucking tennis mom won’t shut the fuck about tennis.
I annoy even myself.
But what I will say in my own defense, and the defense of all the other annoying, obsessive, irritatingly one-track-minded sports parents out there is this: sports provide a lot of fucking structure that kids need.
After we got more serious as a family about tennis as a big part of our every day lives, everything else seemed to fall more into place. School work got done more efficiently (so we could get out to the courts). And done right, the first time – more often. Bedtime is easier (everyone’s burned off all their energy). Vegetables and fruits are eaten with less complaints, because quite frankly even my husband is burning so many more calories now, anything will do at dinnertime.
So I get it. I get why the sports parents revolve their entire lives around soccer or hockey or basketball or tennis or whateverthefuck sport their kid(s) play.
It doesn’t make it any less annoying, though. Make me less annoying, I mean. At least I can admit it and try to do better.
But let’s all face it: tomorrow morning when we go to coaching, I’ll check in on Facebook and post my photos and talk on the phone about it. And be the most annoying bitch on the courts.