Friday, May 27, 2011

Families come in All Shapes & Sizes

In addition to our actual blood relatives, everyone has extended family in their lives. Not having any family geographically close, I often find myself appreciative of my various "families" here: my family of girlfriends, my neighborhood family, T often refers to her studio friends as her dance family, KJ has her SSC family and the four of us love our crazy and wild lacrosse family far and wide!
Some people bond over travel ball (be it softball, volleyball, baseball, soccer, whatever). You end up spending a lot of time with these people while sitting in the bleachers at games, at practices, etc. You celebrate victories and share the agony of defeat and frustration.

Lacrosse is such an incredibly tight knit, small community. Everyone knows everyone else and genuinely cares about each other and celebrates accomplishments. Generally, everyone is super nice and wants nothing but to see the sport grow and kids develop. Over the years, I can only think of one family that has left a stain on our local community.

I am constantly amazed at the contacts Cosmo has made throughout the years and the name he

has made for himself with the store, with BamaLax and with the club team(s). He must be doing something right. He receives letters every season from players thanking him for the opportunity to learn and play, parents thank him for coaching their child, for being a mentor to their child and thank him for helping their child get into college. He's got former BamaLax players playing at the Naval Academy, at Birmingham Southern, at both Auburn and Alabama, Millsaps, Guilford and he's had phone calls from coaches at Loyola, Washington & Lee and Dartmouth. Not too shabby considering lacrosse has yet to be recognized by the state of Alabama.

I always get a little shock and a sense of pride when he tells me that such & such Coach from a big name DI school called about a local player. While some of these names may not be easily recognizable to the average non-lacrosse person, these folks are essentially the Rock Gods of Lacrosse and it's amazing to me that they have my husband's cell phone number. I always crack up when we'll see one of the guys on TV and KJ casually says, "oh! we had dinner with him!" These are DI coaches we see on the sidelines during a game on ESPN, guys that have lacrosse equipment named after them, guys that are in magazines and commercials. Their posters hang on little kid's walls.

While KJ is still young and there's plenty of time for her, lacrosse has given T the opportunity to play all in several different states and she has made some wonderful lasting friendships all over the country. She's played on the field at Penn State, Vanderbilt, Duke, Emory and Temple. She's competed in tournaments in Atlanta, South Carolina, Naples and Tampa and this summer she will play in Richmond, VA. She can walked on to any campus in the country with her stick in her hand and be totally at home.

Since lacrosse is predominately a "Northern" sport, I love when we get together with MLL players, vendors, coaches, etc. It feels like home. It feels like we're sitting around with good friends shooting the breeze. It's hugs all around and the guys always fuss over our two girls. They treat them like little sisters and it's awesome to watch. Especially when we're at a tournament and some boy is trying to talk to T. Afterward, they bust T's chops and tell her, "he's a loser, you can do better. he doesn't have flow!" Everyone knows that lacrosse players are not right in the head and they always tell the best stories! I love the "war" stories about who had the sickest shot, who got rocked so hard in the game he had to be carried off on a stretcher, bar fights in college. There's definitely a bond, a brotherhood, a fraternity of sorts and even though I have begged Cosmo to quit the high school team this year, I am very happy my family is a part of the lacrosse community at large. We've made some great friends and have a lot of fun memories.

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