MamaBlogger365 – Living Vicariously? Or Just Living? by Jennifer Covello

Both of my children play basketball. I’ve attended just about every practice and game since they started playing, so we’re talking several years. I’ve watched my son come up through the ranks and learn how to dribble with both hands and “drop three’s”. I’ve witnessed my daughter driving the ball to the basket with the speed and agility of a real pro.

I’m not well-versed in sports. I don’t understand most of them and would consider myself a true “spectator”. While I do have my favorite professional sports teams, I’m usually the one asking those annoying questions like, “what’s a first down?” or “why is he just standing there?” I’m a big hit with the guys who want to show off their sports prowess and a true pest to those who just want to watch the game.

I call myself a spectator and this is true. However, when it comes to my children’s games, I’m a bit of… well, let’s just say that some would call me an “over-the-top” fan. I scream with joy when either of my children make a basket or defend someone and prevent a basket. I cheer on their team when they are feeling low. Sometimes I even voice my opinion to the refs on bad calls. (Of course, my definition of a “bad call” is likely much different than someone who actually knows what a bad call is!)

Not having any athletic ability at all, I am in awe at what I see my children do. I am not sure I could get out on a basketball court and accomplish anything other than covering my face to avoid getting hit with the ball. (This comes from years of wearing glasses in a co-ed gym class.)

I tell my children repeatedly how proud I am of them for pursuing something they love with such vigor. I tell them how important it is to be part of a team and give your all every time. I tell them that they will look back on this time with fond memories. They just see it as fun. (Well, truth be told, my son sees it as his pathway to the NBA!)

Not long ago, I was talking with my daughter about her basketball abilities and that sports was simply not my gift. She thought it was cool that she could do something her mom could not. However, in true form for her, she was quick to respond with, “But Mommy, you do all kinds of things that I can’t do.” I thought how perceptive she was. How at such a young age, she recognized that we all have gifts and we are not all the same. What a great lesson to learn so early!

In this same conversation, I asked both of my children how it felt when they made a basket or stopped a shot. Both described a feeling of euphoria, of how cool it was, and that in that moment how proud they were. I likened this to how I feel when I write a great blog post or speak to group of women and “connect” with them. We talked about this for a while on that drive home. It’s a great feeling when you are doing something you love and it brings joy to either yourself or others.

In all the time I’ve been going to my children’s games, I feel as if I am living the moment with them as they play. When they miss a shot, I cringe. When they make one, I am overjoyed (much to the dismay of the person sitting next to me!). I see many parents who are able to sit back and quietly watch the game not reacting at all. While I have tried to do this, (mostly upon the request of my children to avoid embarrassment), I simply can’t. I feel their joy and I feel their pain. I want them to know that I am there and I support them no matter what.

Some might say I am trying to “live vicariously” through them since I do not play sports. I say, I am simply living in the moment. Celebrating their success and supporting them through the losses. I have no desire to be a basketball star. But as long as my children will allow, I’ll be there for them as they become stars in their own way.

Bio: Jennifer Covello is the owner and founder of Frittabello, LLC, a baby gift business. Ms. Covello has authored and published an award-winning baby journal, “My Life” and a children’s book, “Frittabello and his Angel.” Her products can be purchased online or in various upscale retailers in Fairfield County, CT. Ms. Covello created and sponsors Bumps, Babies & Beyond baby expo.

To fulfill her mission to help moms, Jennifer offers “Put Your Love on Paper” baby journaling workshops for parents to start and finish their baby journals, recently featured on Better CT. Additionally, she facilitates “Moms to Mompreneurs” workshops which assist moms who want to start a business.

Jennifer is a frequent contributor to various online magazines including “Natural Nutmeg” and “Tots to Teens”. She was also a contributing author to “Moms to Motherhood”, a Gratitude Project book and a mommy blogger for Working Woman Magazine.

She has been featured on local and regional radio and TV programs for her insights about her journey from corporate to mompreneur as a single, full-time working parent.

Jennifer is a native of Long Island, New York and had a corporate career in IT and Marketing. She is active in her local school system, having served on numerous committees focusing on the improvement of special education services. She holds a B.S. degree in Management Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management from Pace University, New York.

Jennifer resides in Norwalk, CT with her two children.

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