Sunday, November 21, 2010


We've been counting down the years until Ben is old enough to wrestle. We've known for some time he was going to love it; he's demonstrated his desire and strength in our living room since he was 2. But the rules are, in our town, you have to be 5 and in Kindergarten (or Kin-dee-garten, as the coach says). Last year, at season's start he was 5,but still in preschool.

We all went to the first practice. Theo was worried about bringing Hunter, but after a conversation I had with the boys, I thought Hunter might need to see what's really going on there:

Ben says he's excited about wrestling. "I am going to win! I'm going to take the other guy down!"

I tell him, "I am excited, too. You follow the coaches instructions. You know you can't hit in wrestling, right Ben?"

"No, you can punch, though!"
"No! Ben! Never!"

"You can slap, though."

I'm worried now... "No Benjamin! There are rules and you're going to have to learn them. Hitting is not what wrestling about." I resigned to leave the rules to the coaches, and a bit silenced by his reactions, I'm interupted by a bystanding Hunter, "Mah. You betta bwing a wot of ban-aids"Apparently Hunter thinks wrestling is going to be like the few seconds of the UFC fights he has caught on our TV!
Hunter seemed worried. So, I thought we should at least show Hunter what his bruh-der is going to be doing two nights a week from now until March.
Brand new wrestling shoes.

Ben loved the first practice! His favorite part was the game they ended the night with: Sharks vs. Minnows. The coaches were sharks, and the kids had to try and cross the gym floor wall to wall without being taken down and thus changed to a shark. Ben loved being a shark so much he purposely cheated on the last game and went back to one of the coaches to be tackled even after escaping.

This week, just as Theo was preparing to take Ben to practice, Hunter became ill and threw up. When presented with the option of taking "the wrestling one or the puking one," I chose wrestling, grabbed my knitting, and my camera, and headed out.

When we arrived Ben ran off as fast as he could and did a huge flip. I was a stunned. I didn't think he could do that. I did the mom thing, "Oh! Be careful! Be careful!" and "Are you supposed to do that?" I saw broken wrists. Twisted arms. I worried he should know some sort of gymnastic techniques... and then I reminded myself this was a padded room, and he was just doing a running summersault. Jeez.
See he upside down kid in the blue t-shirt, gray pants? Yup, that's Ben.

Each one of this runs ended with this amount of happiness.

A coach helps Ben perfect his abdominal exercises.
Ben and another wrestler do an learning excercise, stepping on the opponents toes (which led to reaching for and/or evading the toes, and then take downs using the opponents whole legs.

The next day, he said something to the effect of, "All you did was knit the whole time you were at my practice." Hmpf. Smartass. I was knitting. But also watching him, and taking pictures, and making friends with the mom next to me who's son happened to be paired with mine. But I can tell you, for sure, this is not the first, nor will it be the last, that I have not met Ben's expectations. Just look at his face.
Oh, and the team is called the Monsters. Too cute.

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