So we finally agreed to let Sammy boy play an actual sport instead of just experimenting with several until he was old enough to decide which one he liked (i.e., around 35).
It's not that we wanted him to lead a sheltered life, or were worried that he would pick up bad, aggressive, competitive habits.
And it's not that we were dubious about his chosen sport, AFL- what with the fact that 500,000 other children from the area play it. I can readily admit that AFL is a good game, a fast-moving powerful clash of skills. It's the millions of barbarians who yell at their TV's over it and refuse to talk about anything else which is occasionally annoying.
That was it right there- the main reason we've been baulking on poor Sam was that we didn't want to become sporting parents.
But we finally relented and took Sam to the local mini league, the only outlet for his 3 million daily kilowatts of boyish energy. He was slotted into the Lara Panthers for his first game. They were playing the "Devils"- another annoying irony considering we had to miss church for all of this. The Devils, it seemed, were a bunch of overly skilled little ferrets who had been playing for a while. Sam, and all of his teammates, were the exact opposite.
So when the Devils kicked several dozen goals to the Panthers' zero in the first quarter we feared Sam would find it all a bore and become demotivated. Or worse. But the whole mismatch seemed to drive the little Panthers harder and by the final quarter they were peppering the goals with varying accuracy. Including our little panther, Sammy boy, having been thrust into full forward since Q2, grabbing his moment of glory and putting one through for six points.
By which time I'd fist-pumped the sky at least three times, audibly cursed an umpire's decision twice and jumped when Sammy kicked his goal. I am now a sporting parent.
But it's not about me. My little guy plays footy now.