Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Confessions of a Wrestling Mom

I was a little sad the other day when I realized my middle child is a high school senior this year.  Specifically, when I realized it meant that this is my last season as a wrestling mom.  My boys have been wrestling since they were in 3rd and 4thgrade and I have come to love the sport. My husband wrestled in high school and college so he naturally volunteered to coach the boys on the local youth league team.  I had a lot to learn in my early years as a wrestling mom.  I have to confess that my initial reaction when I saw my first match was to cringe, cover my eyes, and tell my husband that maybe this was not such a good idea.
The only way I got through the first year was because of the video camera.  After waiting around the gym for hours, one of my sons would get called to a mat and I would get handed the video camera with instructions to keep them centered and not to zoom in. I quickly realized it was not nearly as upsetting to watch the 2” tall, black & white version of my sons learn some tough lessons on the mat – like “Don’t reach back!”    
Wrestling is a tough sport.  When my sons were younger I would tell people if you want to see a bunch of little boys cry, go to a wrestling meet.  Yes, some of the tears are due to the physical rigors of the sport, but I came to realize that most of them are from disappointment.  Wrestlers like to win.
In high school, I learned that wrestling is a team sport.  Yes, it is still just one young man out there on the mat with his skills, conditioning and experience, but when my sons entered high school I learned about Dual Meets and team points.  Every match counts and while it would be wonderful to win all of your matches with pins, sometimes the best thing you can do for your team is to just show up and not get pinned.   One of my favorite moments from last season was watching the team cheer on one of our wrestlers. It was unlikely that he was going to win the match, but everybody knew that if he kept it within 3 points, the team would place in the top three.  He did.  The crowd went wild!
I still reach for a camera as a way to handle my nerves at wrestling matches, but now I look through a 35mm lens.  This is one of my favorite shots of my oldest son.  Yes, he is winning, but I really like it because it shows his team.
I used a fun technique on this layout that you might want to try. There is a pattern of dots behind the title and I wanted to carry them onto the photograph. 
I mixed up a little white gesso and some black acrylic paint to get the right shade of gray then I pulled out my punchinella.  Using my fingertip, I dabbed the paint/gesso mixture on until I was happy with the coverage.
You can see I also added some paint on the bottom right corner.
Here’s another little detail.  I am loving my Washi tape and created a little embellishment group in the corner.  The stars are from a rub-on sheet from Moxxie and I wanted to tell you something I learned.
Rub-ons do not stick on top of washi tape!  I originally planned for the stars to overlap the tape a bit more, but it wouldn’t work, so don’t waste your time.  The rub-ons work very well with photos and paper – did you see where I added a red rub-on star to the title?
I love this line because it is so versatile and you can get so many looks with it. My kids have wrestled in many differently colored singlets throughout the years, but this line works with them all. Have a peek at these other layouts using Moxxie's Born to Wrestle and Wrestling lines. 

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