Life lessons from the sidelines of high school lacrosse

I’ve been going to a lot of lacrosse games this season.  A lot.

I’ve been made fun of by other parents because I’ve been known to wear a layer (or three) of down vests/jackets in an attempt to keep warm.

I’ve supplied Gatorade & chewy granola bars, cheering, booing, professional coaching commentary, suggestions, and every now & then, cookies.

It’s not easy, sitting on the sidelines.  In fact, I feel like I should do the same warm-ups as the athletes on the field do before the game.  Get the blood going.  Get pumped up.  Get ready for whatever is about to unfold over the next couple of hours.

I’ve learned a lot this season as a resident of the sidelines.

I’ve learned that it’s not cool to tell your son not to share water bottles with his teammates because he might get mono.

I’ve learned to look at the various calves running on the field to figure out who is who…much easier to recognize the boys that way than by their jerseys.

I’ve learned to stop asking other parents about the various calls made by the refs…refereeing is a language unto itself and will forever remain foreign to me.

I’ve learned that I prefer to watch close games by myself, in silence, jaws clenched.

I’ve learned that I cannot lean over the bench during the game and remind my son to stay hydrated.

I’ve learned that underclassmen players don’t want their parents to join them at team dinners, and that it’s socially safer for me to stay in the car.

I’ve learned that teams with heart can conquer anything.  ANYTHING.

I’ve learned that relentless practice actually pays off.

I’ve learned that no matter what the scoreboard says, I will always be impressed by what those players can do.

I’ve learned that it takes grit and guts to fight your way out of a hole and end up on top.

I’ve learned that New England weather is ridiculous.  When in doubt, plan for it to be freezing & you’ll be guaranteed to be properly dressed.

I’ve learned that there is no place for cute shoes on the sideline of a muddy lacrosse field.

I’ve learned that boys have girl ‘super fans’ who wear their super fan t-shirts to each game & bake the boys treats.

I’ve also learned that these same girls, almost all of them athletes themselves, don’t have boy super fans.  While I love this undying support of the players, I hope to make a change in this system to even it out a bit.  These boys need to sport their own girl super fan shirts & need to start doing a little baking for the ladies.

I’ve learned that no matter how much I want a particular team to win, I can’t make it happen by willing it from the sideline.

What I do know, however, is that I am crossing all of my fingers, toes & the lone bunion that the Acton Boxborough Boys lax team plays their hearts out this Saturday.

Best of luck boys…you have made being a parent on the sidelines a truly extraordinary experience.

Onward & upward gentlemen.  You can do this.

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