I feel badly that it took me this long to realize the importance of this topic. Perhaps it took my son being on a successful football team, I'm not sure. All I do know is that supporting young athletes is a very important thing. It makes them feel special, it makes them feel important, and most importantly it validates all of their hard work.
Ri and his Dad and I had a fantastic fall celebrating the successes of the football team he was fortunate enough to join. Throughout the season family and friends would stop what they were doing and/or rearrange their schedules to show up at a game and cheer my boy and the team on. We made sure that he thanked every person who came to support him. It meant just as much, if not more, to Mike and I that they came.
It was during that time that I realized the importance of the support of these people and that I should be doing the same. I cannot describe how much fun it is to go to a game, ANY game, and cheer on someone else's kid. For starters, it isn't as stressful as it is when your own kid is playing. Beyond that however, you get to really appreciate a different sport or a different level of the sport that you're accustomed to watching.
Today we went to see the Lady Indians soccer team take on Marcellus. My friend's daughter plays for the mighty, mighty Indians and they had won sectionals. I hadn't really had a chance to get to one of their games previously, but it appeared that the stars were in alignment and we could see this very important game.
It was incredible to be a part of the rather large support team for these athletes who had the drive and talent to make it as far as they had. Their shots on goal today far outnumbered those of their opponent, yet they did not prevail. The refs also appeared to favor the "mistakes" of the other team. It just wasn't meant to be.
I do not regret taking the time out of my day, ringing the hell out of my cowbell and stomping my feet on the bleachers. It was well worth it. I think that everyone should attend at least one youth sporting event during his or her lifetime. Seriously, if you own a home and have no kids, you are paying school taxes. Go out and support what you're paying for, whether you have kids in the district or not. It really is money well spent.