Fairies Have More Fun...
This week is "Fairy Night" at lacrosse practice...fairy night. Yup, you read that right. What? Like fairies can't play the fastest game on two feet? Of course they can. Besides, how on earth could fairy wings and a tutu interfere with a fun hour of running around like crazy girls with pseudo-weapons in their tiny little feminine hands? There'll be no obvious problem with it...you know, aside from me wearing a tutu and fairy wings too. Other than that, no issues whatsoever.
After just one week of watching these little girls giggle their way through half-assed lacrosse drills, and full on who-cares-about-anything-but-fun type running around with lacrosse-ish intentions, I'm sold on the indisputable simple enjoyment that girls get from sport versus the eye-of-the-tiger energy release that the same sports seem to be for boys. Lacrosse schmacrosse...there were other girls to play with...good enough, seemed to be the prevailing philosophy, and it was remarkably refreshing. Now I'm more excited about fairy wings and tutus than actual lacrosse drills, and that's enlightening all by itself. In the end this is about fun, and who has more fun than fairies?
I remember being in college and finding myself in Indianapolis with the Women's Swim Team for the Big Ten Championships...a last minute plane ticket slapped on the table in front of me, and specific directions to just shut up and go despite knowing nothing about swimming. I went, and saw something that I wasn't familiar with. Those sincerely competitive girls, some swimming at Olympic calibers, had fun. They laughed, and supported each other with hugs and boisterous enthusiasm and encouragement. They acted like twelve year olds with serious world class swimming chops. They sang songs together, and cheered teammates with their arms wrapped around each others shoulders. They were embodying all of the good things that sports could and should be, and I was forever altered. I'd spent a lifetime around boys and men, all very intense, none very brother-like despite the claim to be....über-competitive, ultra-aggressive, shamelessly selfish and egotistical and angry. Very much win-at-all-costs alpha males. I'd never experienced sport outside of that realm. Boys sports were a frightening micro-example of the food chain. Girls sports were less so, if at all. They were nothing like the big fish eating smaller fish world of male athletics. I was refreshed and inspired and changed. Girls were more fun.
Flash forward nearly twenty years, and I have two daughters of my own, and that's what I so desperately wanted, and almost as soon as the sports begin, the landscape changes...there are giggles and hugs, and cheering and singing, and I'm once again astonished at the capacity for most girls to turn sport into the purest of joyful exercises. Last week I even caught a little girl kissing her lacrosse stick, so obviously and overwhelmingly smitten with her new instrument of fun, that she couldn't resist the physical display of affection. The smile nearly broke my face. We're different, boys and girls, but rarely have I seen a more overt example of that than on the playing fields of our childhood. It's awe inspiring. Girls have more fun. They do. They make more friends. They demand less from the enterprise. They give themselves over more wholly, with less trepidation than boys. They enjoy themselves AND they enjoy the people they surround themselves with more. They innately find perspective before competition.
This week is Fairy Night, and I've maybe never been more excited to play some lacrosse.