Â Â Â I have a love-hate relationship with wrestling. I think it’sÂ a great sport and couldn’t be prouder to be a wrestling mom of two sons, butÂ when it come to watching matches, I have a very difficult time. It’s not because I’m an overly protective mother who is concerned about them getting hurt. Rather, it’s because wrestling is such an individual sport in which grapplers are engaged in a very physical one-on-one battle. It becomes very emotional for me when my sons are on the mat.
Â Â Â I grew up in a family with three older brothers who were high school wrestlers and went to quite a few matches whenÂ I was in elementary school.Â That doesn’t mean that I always watched my brothers’ matchesÂ intently — or at all.Â In fact, I recall more socializingÂ than spectating. If my brothers won, I was glad. If they lost, I felt bad, but didn’t dwell on it.
Â Â Â Â During the past few years since my two sons started wrestling, I’ve discovered that going to wrestling matches is a whole different story if you’re the mother. I not only watch the matches, I get butterflies while doing so. By the time the match is over, my clenched hands are sweating and my stomach is in knots.
Â Â Â Tomorrow, my oldest son, Brendan, an eighth grader, is in a varsity tournament in Larimore, N.D., and will wrestle at least two matches and perhaps three or four.Â I’ll be glued to the bleachers, torn between wanting to close my eyes and not wanting to miss a moment.Â Though, I may not ever get used to it, I will be dealing with it for another seven years. Brendan’s younger brother, Thomas, will move up from elementary wrestling to the junior high next year.
Â Â Â Â I’ll be behind both ofÂ my sonsÂ all the way. I know it’s not about me, but about them and I’m glad that they have the character to participate in a sport that requires a lot of hard work, perserverence and determination. If you’ve never been to a wrestling match or meet, I urge you to go. You’ll see atheletes with a lot of heart.