Finn is in baseball right now. Because we live in a warm place, little league is not just a summer thing. Nope. You can play in Spring and Fall too, if you are that
If football is something your boy likes, he has a choice of flag or tackle; both are completely acceptable in the elementary school years. And, lucky you, your son can play year round in Texas. There are leagues for each season. Plus camps. Because football is extremely important here. Not just popular–important. Even in pee-wee football there is tailgating before the game.
And what goes with football? Cheerleading, of course! Girls are cheerleading here as soon as they can walk. No girls have short hair in Texas because, my gosh, you have to be able to put it in a ponytail and wear multiple ribbons in your team’s colors.
Finn’s coach has one child. Yep, he and his wife have decided to put all their eggs in one basket. So we are treated not only to games, but practices and scrimages too. The wife also send out the team’s stats after each game (laughable. The typical batting average? Zero.) Because baseball is serious for nine-year-olds. None of this cheering for everybody who tries. Now you have to earn cheering. And if you happen to strike out (which happens all the time because they are nine, not in high school) the parents offer such gentle, encouraging nuggets as “shake it off” or “we’ll be hitting the batting cages extra hard this week!”. If you try to be empathetic and let your child know that you understand and validate his disappointment by yelling something like, “Bummer!” or “I’m so sorry!” or “you’re great at hitting! You’ll do better next time!”, parents will turn and look at you like you’re the biggest idiot ever. Because the official motto of sports is “it’s just a game”, but the real message is “we are spending lots of time and energy on you. This is the most important thing you’ve done in your life so far. You’re making us look bad.”