March Dadness

Madness is in the air.

After all, it’s March and the NCAA tournament is in full swing – 16 teams remain. All the number 1 seeds survived, but the number 2 seeds were not so fortunate.  The first and second rounds have played havoc with office pools. In addition, the Peyton Manning saga has been in full swing. Nashville was a host city for the opening weekend of the tournament, yet local media seemed focused on Manning (at least when I was listening) and if he would become a Titan.  Spoiler alert: he did not. Shocker.

Around the home, madness is in the air. So far in March there have been two birthdays, out-of-town family weddings (including my sister!), allergies, cutting the grass (more allergies), planting the garden, work-life challenges, a drop in exercise and I’ve been neglecting my morning quiet time. Now add to that a brand new madness starting tonight – my 6-year-old daughter has her first soccer game!

As a dad who played a few youth sports and enjoys competition, I have mixed emotions. Is she prepared? Will she get hurt? Will she be a good sport? Will she make friends? Will she lose or gain confidence? Will she enjoy playing team sports? I remember being her age and playing youth soccer in my hometown and LOVING it. Thinking back, my skills were OK, and what I lacked in that department, I made up for in competitive spirit, but that was me (in youth basketball I was once on a team that scored only scored 7 points in a game – I was discouraged, but wasn’t allowed to quit – glad I didn’t). I want her to enjoy soccer – and if she loves it, that will be fine with me – but I don’t want to make her love it. After all she is only 6 and has her whole life in front of her.

So tonight at 6pm my bracket, my work demands, Peyton, the yard  – all get put aside.  I will sit with my wife and son and watch soccer. I will cheer her team – The Swans – and  I will cheer for her. If they win, I will celebrate. If they lose, I will lend a shoulder to cry on ( that’s what my shoulders are for these days) and encourage her to stay with it. Either way, tonight at 6pm, the twisty road of being a dad takes a new turn and I will need to be ready to jump in.

Let the dadness begin!

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