Joining a New Sport, Discovering a New Subculture

svmamas-cloudIt’s Thursday, which means we are four days into a new love. My son began lacrosse on Monday. After a year of asking to play, I signed him up for a week-long camp, figuring camp is the easiest, least committal way to try out a new sport. When I picked him up on the first afternoon, my son was all in. By the second day we were kicking around different club options, and by day three, we’d dropped a serious amount of money on gear. Within three days we’d gotten immersed into a new subculture that I knew next to nothing about days before.

It’s always weird to venture out of our little bubbles of soccer, baseball, and softball (my son plays basketball too, but it’s not much more than a once a week event over the winter), to find other bubbles, all intensely focused on another sport or hobby. I knew lacrosse existed, of course, but within days we’ve learned some of the politics of local clubs, the devotion, and the little quirks that are included, like wearing funky crew socks. Before Monday, I didn’t know the depth of it. Lacrosse was the section of the sporting goods store that we walked through to get to baseball. Maybe I was better off being naive.

It is only day four, but my son is more energized about lacrosse than he has been about other sports in awhile. Maybe it is the pads and stick, but he wants to play all the time. I had said no to hockey – mostly due to time conflicts, and my desire to be outdoors, but also a little discouraged by Sarah Palin. Hockey is its on bubble, which I see when taking my kids to the rink for skating lessons. Swimming is too. Many of these sports require giving up others – my son is upset about having to decide between baseball and lacrosse in the spring – which means we don’t necessarily see these same kids or moms outside of these bubbles. We see many of our soccer friends on the baseball field in the spring, but that too will likely wain as kids specialize in sports (something I hate, but that is a different subject). I like that larger sense of community, and while joining a new bubble can grow our community, and can also limit it if it becomes your only place of existence.

This week our community expanded. I’m going to focus on that, the positive, instead of the additional commitment that has been added to our week.

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