One of the joys of being a grandparent is going to sporting events in which a grandchild participates. I have been a spectator at T-ball, soccer, softball, basketball, football, track, wrestling, and rugby. Unfortunately, distance and scheduling prevented me from attending a swim meet.
The best laugh I had at a game was when a team of four-year-old soccer players moved the ball from their assigned field to the adjacent field and thought they scored a goal. They then cheered and applauded their success.
During T-ball games, the only ones really interested in the games were the parents. The players were most likely watching the birds fly over-head or running to wrong bases.
This old grandma played softball in her younger years, so I enjoyed seeing a granddaughter play that sport. My take-away from those games was that girls are just as competitive as are boys (and they look much cuter in uniforms).
I liked going to basketball games because I did not usually have to turn to some male-type nearby and ask, “What happened?” Feeling smart is important by the time one reaches the grandma years.
Football games caused me to clench my fists and grit my teeth. Grandmas do not like to see a grandson knocked to the ground and then watch as bulked-up guys pile on top of him.
Soccer games move fast. No time-outs for coaching. A grandparent’s neck needs to be flexible in order to keep up with this sport. Spectators' heads are almost constantly in motion as the teams move on the field.
The game I understand least is Rugby. I just have to trust that, since there are scores and a winner, someone understands how to assess what is going on out there on the field.
High school track team members usually participate in more than one event. So, even though the meets span a great deal of time, multiple events tend to hold one’s interest.
Wrestling is the sport I’ve named the “sore behind sport.” This has nothing to do with being sore losers or being behind in points and it has everything to do with sitting on hard, backless bleachers for eight-hour meets. The good part of those long days is that a grandson will be on a mat several times.
This year completes my time of being a grandparent spectator at youth sporting events. I could become a great-grandparent spectator at tiny tot sports venues in Idaho and Michigan. However, I think I will just let the next generation of grandmas occupy my place on the bleachers.
A few photos (l – r): Joanna Ruth Walker, “Baby Ruth” softball; Michael Powers, rugby; Michael Powers, football; Ben Powers, (left) football; Ben Powers, (white) soccer; Kyle Donovan, (center back row - tallest) swimming; Ben Powers, track; Ben Powers, (#1) wrestling; and, again, our Joanna Ruth.