Sports are not my thing. I ran/walked a half-marathon once, but that’s the only time I’ve demonstrated some kind of athletic skill. As a child, I remember asking my dad if I could bring a book into the Jags game (98% sure he said no), and the only times I was excited to go to one of my brother’s baseball games was when I got to work the concession stand.
However, sports are (basically) the only extracurricular offered at my school. So if I want to show my kids that I love them and that I care about their non-academic lives, my options are church or a basketball game. In the fall, I attended almost every football game (primarily because it was an excuse to stay after-school on a Friday and lesson plan). I hit up a good portion of the basketball games, but they were long (JV and varsity often played on the same night), and boring (imho), and it was difficult to grade papers in the stands.
CUE baseball/softball season. It was the first year we’ve had softball team, and the fourth year for our zero-win-streak baseball team. Between the two teams, it covered my top three bff/favorite teachers and also a handful of my favorite students. Obviously, I was going to attend all the games.
The games were fantastic/hysterical. Example A: two boys literally crashed into each other in the outfield trying to make a catch. I never been more proud than when they made it to the end of game, instead of getting cut off by the mercy rule.
At the end of the season, the baseball team had a celebratory dinner at Pizza Hut. Myself, along with the softball coach (also TFA and also my source of sanity this year), were invited. I brought paper and markers, and the coaches and I sat at the back table coming up with awards/superlatives for each of the boys – “most likely to complain through the whole game, “most likely to Instagram from the outfield,” “dazed and confused,” etc. I also wrote awards for the coaches (most likely to curse out a ref) for the captains to present to them. It was beautiful.
Afterwards, the boys turn to me and the softball coach, knowing we wrote all the awards, and asked why we didn’t give ourselves an award for most supportive. “Really? You want me to sit here and write myself an award!?” “Oh! No, here give us some paper we’ll make them.” Five minutes pass, and this is what they return with-
“He wrote Ms. Abram’s first, and she had #1 Fan, so I couldn’t give you #1 Fan too.”