I know I've written about this before but its traveling basketball season again and I can recognize that familiar bubbling in my belly known as sports rage. Every year I work on it and it gets better and better, but last weekend I was hit with a new revelation. I usually can keep a pretty good hold on my rage and I can sit through some fairly excruciating games without too much irritation UNTIL.....another player hurts my kid. That there is a WHOLE other side of my sports rage.
Last weekend we traveled out of town to my 10 year olds basketball tournament. Her team was playing in the Championship game and so their competition was tough and their desire to win was strong. There happened to be a little girl on the opposing team that perhaps wanted to win a little more than our team but used violence as her strategy. I was warned about her from local fan sitting by me in the stands and so my eyes were on her like a hawk.
Now I've seen my share of fierce and nasty basketball players but not this young, for crying out loud. To see this girl, one would think she was sweet and adorable, with her light blond hair all perfectly pulled back in a ponytail with a pretty bow that matched her uniform and a seamless smile with flawless fair skin. However, that smile quickly turned to a growl as she plowed her little 12 year old bony elbow right smack into my daughter's chest with the force the reminded me of a black belt karate kick. My skinny little baby, who was easily six inches shorter and for sure two years younger, flew back in pain, almost falling to the ground. That malicious girl's eyes, which were once a pretty blue, turned an evil gray color and I'm pretty sure I saw two giant canine teeth suddenly grow out of her top jaw.
It was instantaneous how fast the mama bear in me came unleashed. I instantly yelled out in my "stop a moving truck" deep voice, "HEEEYYYY!!!!" Then, I literally said, "If that little snip does that again, I'm goin' out on the floor! I don't care if I get kicked out!" After a few more incidents of throwing my daughter on the floor, tripping her as she dribbled and doing everything other than practically scratching her eyeballs out, I was FURIOUS. I tried to keep my calm and still enjoy the game, but inside my heart was reaching cardiac level and my blood most likely was close to boiling.
If we wouldn't have won first place, I might have lost my cool. I'd already spotted this demon child's mom and was dying to give her a little advice about raising a child with manners and good sportsmanship. I'm all for playing aggressive, going for the ball and wanting to win, but kids that think they have to intentionally hurt others are on my "list."
Later that evening as I analyzed my behavior, I realized that if I'd have seen that girl in the stands with her friends or at shopping at the mall, I would have treated her just like I do any other 12 year old I know, but it was amazing how fast she became my enemy once she messed with my cub. Age no longer became a factor, nor did her maturity level. I was ready to pound her and her mom and I didn't even know them. I apologize for my immature and irrational feelings, and no, I when it comes down to it, I'd never actually pound someone, but the desire was there, I'm not gonna lie.
God gave moms this instinct to protect their young, trying to control it, is the problem. Wish me luck the rest of the season!