I am not sure what comes over me at the basketball stadium on Sunday afternoons, but something does.
My daughter has been playing for a local club for years. She is fourteen now, but has been playing from the age of eight or nine.
By nature, I am a fairly calm and ordered sort of person. However, like many parents, my mind is often rolling like a cassette player turned on with volume down, as it ponders the other important things in life. It’s background noise is like a murmur that hums away padding the spaces between the past, the present and the future.
“Mum. Quick, hurry up, the game starts in five minutes….”
…..Busy week coming up….work…dentist…that email…
“Mum. We need $4 to get in……where’s your purse?…”
….something on Wednesday night, Friday night…and Saturday night…who’se looking after the kids?…..
“Mum. Are you on scoring…?”
…did I sign that anaphylactic camp notice, pay the health insurance?…
“Scoring? Me? god….I hope not, I’m not sure….I don’t think I read the email from the Team Manager…I’d better check my phone”
“No, its Mark, Sarahs Dad, he’s scoring” phew!
Parents like basketball. Mainly because the game is quick and there are not many jobs to be allocated. If you are not coaching or scoring then you sit and watch the game from the sidelines. The parents from both teams, line up in a row, like chooks on a perch late in the afternoon. We sit cross legged on long, low and cold, timber benches.
It can be fascinating.
Normally quiet and conscientious people who read good parenting books before they nod off at night time, are transformed into loud, vocal and vociferous human beings. Myself included.
For forty minutes each week we sit beside the court yelling, ranting and raving at our kids.
“GO NIC, GO
GET THE BALL NIC
GET IN THE KEY
WHERE’S YOUR MAN?
GET ON YOUR MAN!!!
GET THE BALLLLLLLL
Faces redden and blood pressures rise. Some parents pace the length of the court, others stand and gesticulate towards their child.
By this stage I’m usually swung a steely ‘daughters’ glare from the court. I feel it penetrate. I am not alone though, I tell myself. Everyone does it. You can’t help it.
In fact there is always someone worse; like the guy I sat next to once at the scorers desk…he bellowed beside me “GO DIDDY, GO DIDDY“, for an entire game. I mucked up the fouls on (player) fifteen that day, because I couldn’t hear the ref. All I could hear was “Go Diddy“. I wondered if the $2 spectator fee had been imbued with an evangelical spirit, rendering its recipient the gift of tongues.
Win, lose or draw the result matters little. We, the parents rant, rave and cajole our kids, whilst at the same time forgetting about our own inner worlds; albeit, for a short time.
Each week, every Sunday for forty minutes, its just us.
Go Nic, Go.