For years, I’ve perfected the cheering lingo of the various sports our sons have played. Each one has its own unique language.

Baseball: Nice cut — Good hit — Right to the glove — Just play catch — Good hit.

Basketball: Tough D! — Arms up — Look for the ball — Nice shot.

Track: Keep it going — Stay strong — Go, go, go!

And now it’s tennis.
And I’m silenced.

My son quickly pointed out that shouting for your kid on the tennis court is poor etiquette. I am required to stand mutely behind the fence, just smiling when my son sneaks a glance my way before a serve. It’s hard to do. I have been cheering for my sons for so many years, it’s not easy to watch silently.

Being silenced has also given me a new appreciation for the requirements of the sport. I pay closer attention to the forms and styles of the players, watch the boundary lines, and when my husband is at the match (a former tennis champion) I always, ALWAYS, have to ask him about the scoring.

There are lessons in silence. I think it makes me more attentive to the nuances of the sport, as well as the nuances of my son.

But in my head, I’m still cheering like crazy.

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