Not bad for a fat girl


My Son the Athlete

golf-hole*304xx1663-1345-0-457My son plays high school sports. I  thought I would never type this sentence, but it’ s true. He plays tennis and golf, and enjoys them both a great deal.

His father is a natural athlete. He was an all-state football player in high school and played on a semi-pro  basketball team (whatever that is) in his youth.

I, on the other hand, am not an athlete by any definition of the word. Oh sure, I played  intramural basketball in junior high, and I played on the co-ed rec volleyball team for a season, but I was awful at both.

My son takes after me in many ways; most of them I’m proud of. Athletically, however, I wish he were slightly more like his father.  Still, he has come a long way.

When he was small he hated to crawl. He was much happier just being carried from place to place. Once he finally mastered that crawling thing, usually with a pathetic outstretched arm in the hopes of a pity ride, he took forever to learn to walk. At last, at nearly a year and a half, he figured it out.

Bike riding was similar. He got a slick bike with training wheels around kindergarten age. It wasn’t my idea. I knew he lacked the coordination for it, and I was right. It sat in the garage for a long time, next to the battery powered mini-motorcycle (also not my idea). They both gathered dust until one day he decided to try it again. Of course by then he was much bigger. Still, it wasn’t his thing. Finally, in the fifth grade he received a new bicycle, one suitable for a ten year old, not a five year old. We took him to the park, he rode on the grass, and he finally learned. He was rewarded with a twenty dollar bill found in the parking lot. I guess the gods were pleased.

This boy has tried gymnastics, basketball, flag football, and tackle football. He never quit any of the sessions for which he was enrolled, but he also wasn’t exactly a super star. That was okay with us and okay with him. He has lots of other talents, so if he wasn’t an athlete no big deal.

2Then came high school. One day I picked him up from school and he announced that he had joined the golf team. The golf team? He had never even held a golf club as far as I knew, aside from a few games of mini-golf. They told the kids that no experience was necessary, so he tried it and liked it. A lot. Now he golfs and has a varsity letter.

He also plays tennis. This is something he has done for years in the summer. My mom is a big tennis player, at least she used to be. She has signed up all the grandkids for tennis lessons, so my boy was familiar with the sport. Still, a week here and a week there does not a tennis player make. Last year as a freshman he decided not to try out, but this year he went for it. The other day he played his first varsity match, and he was happy.

I’m so proud of my athlete. I’m proud of him for finding his own way and sticking to it. I’m proud of him for working hard to improve in both of his sports, and for enjoying himself along the way. I’m proud of him for not giving up when it gets difficult or when he is defeated in competition. I’m proud of him for being a good teammate and for never missing practice. This boy constantly impresses me. I can learn a lot from him. I’m proud to be his mother, even if I’m not an athlete myself.


Living Large at the Silver Paddock

My son plays golf. He came to it entirely on his own, having never stepped on a course in his life before becoming a part of the school’s golf team. driveHe picked up his first club as a freshman, and found that it was something he really enjoyed. Hooray!

I’m so glad that he found something that gives him such pleasure. He studies the game and talks about the game and even occasionally watches the pros or reads articles in golf magazines. Last summer my sweetheart discovered a great golf camp offered by our local university, run by their acclaimed NCAA coaches. It was a stretch financially, but we sent him. He also takes lessons at a local golf “superstore.” What can I say? The boy enjoys golf.

I’m especially glad he found it because it gives him some exercise and is something he can enjoy well past his teenage years. Neither his dad nor I play, and nobody ever suggested he take it up, so it’s something that is entirely his.

Last night his team held their end of the season dinner. As a freshman last year, he failed to mention this event to anyone until the last minute, then didn’t let us know that it was for families as well as players. Grr. This year I got more information out of him, and both his dad and I were able to attend.

The location chosen was a giant warehouse of a restaurant, a buffet type place that I won’t name, but it’s kind of like Silver Paddock. I had never been at this place before, and I will never return. Unless there’s another golf dinner there. Which there probably will be. Ugh.

The teenage boys love this place, which is why the coach selected it. Of course they love it, they are ravenous and there is so much food here, all of it available in whatever quantity one desires.Unknown I was hungry too, so I grabbed my plate and made the long trek to the start of the culinary display.

Way way down at the beginning of the line was the salad section. It was virtually deserted, and not terribly inviting with a few bowls of greens and some sad looking shredded carrots and garbanzo beans next to a couple of vats of mayo based concoctions. There were some jello creations too, and a couple of other odd things thrown in for good measure. Frankly, I was a little put off.

I continued down the line, plate still empty, past the soup station. Greasy vats of unknown origin simmered, waiting to be slurped down. Pass. Then I entered the Mexican section. Considering I live in the Southwest, this was pitiful. There were hard taco shells, some seasoned meat, and gooey nacho cheese, the kind you get out of a can. No thanks.

After that was the “Thanksgiving Dinner” portion of the food line. There were meats and side dishes galore, oh, and a tray of carrots. I took some of those, and a small dollop of mashed potatoes. As I continued on I found three varieties of chicken. I added a small chicken breast, bbq style, to my plate.

I hurried past the crowd waiting for leathery looking steaks, on to the deep fried section. There, fried chicken, shrimp, okra, potatoes, hush puppies, fish, and who knows what else waited to jump onto people’s plates. At this point I looked at my plate and decided that I had endured enough of this madness. I headed to my seat to eat.

It was okay. Not awful. Not great. Okay. Person after person around me devoured the food on their plates and popped up to get more. I stayed put.

The festivities concluded and my son and I got in the car to go home. “Did you notice anything about the demographics of that place?” he asked.

“Everyone in there was fat,” I replied, not missing a beat.

I’m glad he noticed. He’s not fat, and of course there were a few people in the restaurant who weren’t, but most of them were. The-cotton-candy-machine-has-arrivedJudging by how packed this place was on a Wednesday night, this restaurant must make a killing on the feeding of fat people. Quantity has definitely won out over quality in this scenario, and people were not only okay with this, they were clamoring for more.

I didn’t even mention the dessert section, which was by far the largest area of the buffet. There was chocolate flowing from some contraption and there were cakes, cookies, pies, brownies, and even cottons candy. Yes, gobs of spun sugar to top off your fat laden all you can eat feeding frenzy. Gross.

The experience reminded me of the buffet scene in Vegas Vacation. I cannot watch that scene without gagging. The movie is a favorite at our house, but that scene is so revolting that I have to leave the room when it plays. Perhaps if more people watched it, the Silver Paddock wouldn’t be so full of fatties.