This mom is using sports to better understand the game of life! The series Team Mom for MomsCharlotte/Charlotte.com explores how an uncompetitive non-athlete obtains a new outlook on parenting through her experiences as a team mom to her two sons. Maybe it is all fun and games after all!
The following essay appeared in the series:
Team Mom: mad mascots
The team mascot is a sore subject in our house. But only because my husband’s high school mascot is . . . well, odd.
I am a proud West Charlotte High School LION. You are probably familiar with the lion, a most noble and fierce beast. No one has to wonder what your deal is when you are a lion. Respect.
My husband’s high school mascot is a red tornado. A regular tornado by itself would have been ok, I guess, but they had to ruin it by making it red.
“Why red?” I ask. “Are you an especially angry, red-faced type tornado? Are the blue tornadoes more like beach breezes? Was purple taken?”
“Hush,” he replies.
Or what, you’re going to whip around me in circles until I spin to my demise?
He really does look irritated. So I try to make it up to him by telling him that actually, I have a real affinity for tornadoes. Because I played one in high school in our senior class play The Wiz. All of the Lettergirls on the dance squad wore silvery blue wispy costumes and tights and waved our arms over Dorothy’s house (constructed on wheels) and spun it around the stage to stormy music, and then parked it in Oz.
So, I am totally connected to the mighty tornado (although silvery blue and gauzy) at heart. I remember us prancing around the stage in all of our teen glory and say, Yeah, I take it back, tornadoes can be really frightening after all.
He is not amused.
Thankfully, we don’t have to reconcile this at home because we have our own family mascot. It is our dog, Maddie.
I think that this is the case for most families with pets, especially four-legged ones with big personalities. The dog or cat becomes the uber-member of the family.
I suspect this is the reason why many guys seem invested in having big dogs. Labs, Shepherds, Goldens, Rottweilers. Like maybe hearty breeds = an intimidating presence. I see evidence for this theory when folks ask us what kind of dog Maddie is. The truth is we don’t really know – we adopted her through the Humane Society. So, she is some kind of mutt, probably.
I look at her and take in the long skinny legs with white boots, the almond button eyes, the markings on her face and tail. The small face paired with a muscular chest. She is maybe 25 pounds. “Boxer/Chihuahua mix?” I guess.
My husband is quick to correct this. “She is a Feist,” he says firmly, referencing a dog we discovered on the Internet when trying to match pictures of her as a puppy with legit breeds. “It’s a hunting dog.”
Maybe hunting for trouble. She looks like a cartoon character with one ear up and one ear down at all times, unless they are pressed back against her head because she is leaning into my husband’s face with her eyes averted, so sweet to the Alpha.
She is completely adored by both of my boys. I used to say she came on board as one for the girls’ team, but she really is one of them, fast and strong and energetic and wild. She loves to jump and chase or be chased. She is super- athletic; we watched the Westminster Agility Competition last year and I am convinced she could be a contender. So maybe she is a Feist, although that heritage is not required for her to be a champion. The Westminster Kennel club calls mixed-breeds “All-American” dogs. I think that celebration of imperfection is absolutely perfect.
She is smart and sassy. And hugely affectionate. She will curl herself into a little ball so she can snuggle right up against you, circling and circling and finally plopping down with a sigh, a soft and warm temporary appendage.
She is our mascot. Looking at her you can guess a lot about us – mostly what would have happened if we’d had a third kid. I know she represents us, for better or for worse, so I’ll just go ahead and proudly apologize for her/us. That spaz will jump up and kiss you right on the mouth when you see her.
Welcome to Kercher Field.