Updated: Feb 7
Maybe it is because I played sports growing up. I have this competitive side that I try to keep hidden. Try to keep it reigned in. I don’t want to be one of those parents on the sidelines that is screaming at her child.
There is this high that comes with watching my son play lacrosse. The tension that fills the arena is intense. The smell of sweaty boys, well that is something that I can do without. The adrenaline that fills up your body as the teams come out onto the field and the lacrosse sticks start banging the boards.
I love it all. The sounds, the anticipation, the memories. I never played lacrosse but I remember the feeling of being out on the court (or field). The butterflies that fill your stomach as you make your way into the friendly or sometimes not so friendly competition.
The warm-ups when the excitement in the air took over and you were ready to win. There isn’t a greater feeling than that. Listening to the crowd’s enthusiastic screams. Feeling pumped and ready to win. That is what the game is all about. That is why you walk out onto the field time and time again. The feelings that you overwhelm you.
As a parent, all of these feelings still consume me. They play out inside of me every game that I attend. The butterflies, the anxiety, the overwhelm of it all. But there is something that I forgot. Ok maybe forgot is the wrong word. I remember clearly the feeling but I didn’t expect to feel it as a parent too.
The devastation that comes with a loss. The low sinking feeling that you experience when all of the excitement, adrenaline, and anticipation leave your body. The feeling that you could have done better but you didn’t. The feeling that you let that crowd down. The crowd that was so passionate during warm-ups now looks defeated as well.
I know what it feels like to win and I know what it feels like to lose. The crash I experience as a parent was something that I wasn’t expecting. I take it personally. We replay the game the whole ride home and talk about what could have been done differently. I hate the crash. I hate the sinking feeling. Sometimes there are moments when the crash takes over me and I get incredibly grumpy. As if somehow I can change the outcome of the game. I know that I can’t but maybe it is the athlete inside of me.
Do you experience the high of the game and the crash of the loss? How do you deal with it?