A Mother's Introduction to the Jock Strap

fadra nallyWhen my son was born, I swore that he'd never be a sports fanatic and for good reason. I never watched sports nor had any interest in them despite living in the heart of the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference).

While living in North Carolina, no one ever asked if I liked college basketball. They just asked if I bled red (NC State Wolfpack) or blue (UNC Tarheels). As a good transplanted Yankee should, I rooted for whichever team the person asking me did.

My husband wasn't much help either. One of the things that attracted me to him was the fact that he wasn't interested in sports. Sure, he liked to watched motorcycle racing or downhill skiing, but he wasn't into anything that would make me a sports widow at least once a week.

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In my mind, it made sense that we'd carry on the tradition with our one and only son. As I drove past the soccer fields on the hottest days or the coldest mornings, I knew I didn't want to be one of those moms. Not only would we not watch sports, but we probably wouldn't play them either.

I wanted to raise a nerd. That was something I could relate to.

But as my son started getting older, my attitudes started to change. While his friends were off playing soccer, lacrosse, hockey, and baseball, he was content to sit on the couch watching TV and playing video games. Truly a product of his generation.

OMG, what have I done? I thought to myself. And I knew this kid needed some physical stimulation.

I picked the path of least resistance and signed him up for tae kwon do. It was an individual sport. No team pressure or practices or double headers. He had class twice a week and it was all indoors!

Everything went along swimmingly with only a few complaints (usually when class was interrupting an intense video gaming session). But then he advanced enough to need protective gear for sparring (fighting matches).

I shelled out the bucks, because I guess that's part of being a sports mom, but I never thought I'd be so clueless.

"What's that?" I asked the school owner as she handed me the gear. "That's his jock strap," she said, as if I should know. And I probably should have. But it all went downhill from there.

I couldn't figure out the right way for my son to wear it. Was it inside out? Does the elastic go behind the legs? Does he have to wear it to class? Aren't little boys immune to all of this stuff?

Nope. Apparently, when little boys are punching and kicking each other, a cup is most certainly necessary.

I turned to my husband for help feeling this was squarely in his territory, and surprisingly, he was clueless and no more help than I was. So together, my son and I struggled with the discomfort of it, the embarrassment of it (we placed the "cup" in wrong and it fell out during class), and the necessity of it.

My son still gives me complaints that it's too tight and uncomfortable, but he's had enough near misses to know that it's there to do a job. At least I never have to take him for a bra fitting.

Moms of boys, have you tackled the cup before? 


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