tell you what he weighs down to the ounce. When we go to bed early on Friday nights as we have to get up long before the sun rises and head to a gym somewhere at least an hour away, to spend the better part of our day with hundreds of other devoted wrestling parents. Ten hours of sitting for ten minutes of wrestling. When your son is having a good year, which Sam is this year, its not even ten minutes of wrestling. But that's okay. Like many of the other activities we are in, we have made our wrestling friends. We have our cattle showing friends, State Fair friends, friends of parents in each of the kids classes, so sure we may as well have our wrestling friends too. It's that parent who's child wrestles yours every week, sometimes we win, sometimes they do. They stand in the bullpen laughing and telling jokes, then they step on the mat and its all business. As soon as the match is over, a handshake and hug and on to the next match.
With all sports and many other things in life, we see examples of the best and the worst humanity has to offer. Yes sadly there's that dad hollaring at the kid after the match, but thankfully that is rare. The things that I find most heartwarming is watching two boys leave the mat and the mom of the winner hugging and comforting the young man who just lost. I don't think that kids who only participate in team sports can ever truly get wrestling. It's so personal. When you win, YOU won! And when you lost, yes YOU lost. There's no one else to blame it on. It's glaringly obvious. But thankfully the brotherhood of wrestlers and their families all realize that and win or lose, the whole group is right there supporting those kids in an intensity that I really do not believe exists with other sports. I played basketball and softball growing up and while yes our parents cheered and supported us, we did it as a team, and you never felt alone. I can't imagine how it feels to walk off the mat as the referee holds your opponents arm in the air.
All of that being said, the adrenaline rush of wrestling I have to think is hard to top. I know as a parent and a spectator its pretty intense. Like a friend said, its a fight with rules. It gets under our skin at a basic level, survival. To be successful has to be the greatest feeling in the world. To learn the discipline to also lose like a gentleman is a life skill that will take these young men far as well.
I will admit that I mourned the loss of basketball in my life 5 yrs ago when my boys started wrestling. But I am proudly a 'Mat Momma' now. Sam is having a great season, only two losses. I believe he has around 6 pins for the season. He wrestles again weekend after next at Jefferson City Jays tournament, and possibly one or two more, then its Finals time in March. Here's hoping we have 'plans' the last weekend in March, and we make it to the Hearnes Center for the State tournament.
Sitting in my office, listening to my supposedly sick littlest grappler run up and down the hallway of the 'new part' of the house (is there Crack in a Z-pac?)