Written in response to this week’s weekly writing challenge…
Rubgy got the no. 1
When my son was a little fella at prep school the issue of compulsory team sports came up.
They had three options for the parents to number in order of preference for being considered as a worthy team member.
At that stage I was anti rugby – I had no brothers, had been to an all girls’ school so, little male reference in my life apart from, ahem, of course having dallied with one long enough to produce children! Anyhoo I was anti rugby believing it was a dangerous dangerous sport and something I would protect my own darling boy from by all means. A relative told me ‘he’s more likely to get hit by a car than hurt playing rugby’ and my response ‘I don’t let him stand in the middle of the road for an hour once a week while I watch from the footpath’. Yes, I felt very high and mighty in my dismissal of football.
Obviously, despite pleading from the small fry, I ticked aussie sports no. 1; cricket no. 2 and ignored rugby altogether. Rebel me, no no. 3! Aussie sports seemed a great option to me – no uniform required and you got to practice a range of games. By the peers though it’s deemed ‘wussie sports’ for those who can’t get into a team. A single mother’s mistake – sorry!
I think he did one year of that, I can’t remember..but by the next was in cricket. In cricket he was regularly out for a duck, and when their team fielded was way out where the ball never ventured, where you could sleep the innings away without incident. I’ll never forget his description of the hallowed game of cricket – ‘boring as bat shit’.
Next season rugby got the no. 1. My complete denial of the game had given way to hesitation, and was fairly quickly replaced by a passion that lives long after the small boy child became a man, with playing days years behind him. It is a heavy contact sport and there are injuries but over 8 years of games he was unscathed. He never lost the thrill of one of his earliest games – someone else had driven him and, covered in mud, he ran through the house to find me ‘Mum, mum I’m as happy as a pig in shit’.
That’s my boy – turns out he was a rugby player.