Growing up, I never quite believed it when my parents, or parents in general, said they loved all their children the same.
Imposssible. It’s human nature to pick favorites, and that includes kids.
Lately though, my views on parenthood have begun to change. No, the home pregnancy test did not turn blue, but my babies have all grown up nonetheless.
During my four years at Marquette, I have attended as many sporting events as I possibly could.
Despite my commitment, the teams, save for the women’s soccer team, never delivered any hardware. Sure, they didn’t go winless, but there were zero Big East titles in the coffer.
The times, they are a’changing.
This year, Marquette has turned into a Big East juggernaut, with all three fall ball teams either in first, or tied for first in the conference. This is where the parent’s dilemma comes into play. How could I ever pick between them?
First there’s the men’s soccer team coached by Louis Bennett.
This team’s always had a distinct advantage in the race for my affections, because soccer is by far my favorite sport to watch.
Yet the first three years there weren’t many school prizes to show off to the neighbors. This team was like the slacker child in the family. You know it has all the tools to succeed, yet it consistently brings home failed tests. During my first three years here, Bennett’s squad went 14-29-11, winning only seven Big East games.
After Saturday night’s 2-1 victory over No. 23 West Virginia that moved Bennett’s squad to 5-0-0 in the conference, it is safe to say his team finally gets it. It has put it all together and has become the successful student you always knew it could and should be. There’s something beautifully gratifying about having the ugly duckling turn into the swan.
Next, there’s the women’s volleyball team, coached by Bond Shymansky.
This team has improved its record every season, due mostly to the aforementioned Shymansky. He came in to a program that was in shambles after the dismissal of coach Patti Rolf halfway through the 2008 season and turned it into one of the premier teams in the Big East. Shymansky’s squad currently sits at 6-0 in the conference and is 16-5 overall.
I would compare it to the child that got caught up with the wrong crowd for a while, but was fortunate enough to ditch those friends before they completely ruined their life. Now Bond’s squad has a model leader to listen to and a good group to hang with. I look on with thankfulness at how much better it has become because of the change.
Finally there is the women’s soccer team, coached by Markus Roeders. This has been the one consistency each of my four years. This group wins and wins and wins some more.
Currently ranked No. 7 in the country, the women’s soccer team hasn’t lost at home this season and has a mere two blemishes on its win-loss record (16-2-0 overall), both coming on the road.
This team is the straight ‘A’ student that brings home plaque after plaque from all the spelling bees, academic bowls and math Olympics she wins. It gets to the point where it is so dominant you forget how marvelous their accomplishments actually are.
How am I to choose between the prodigal son, the changed-her-ways daughter and the straight “A” student?
My parents were right, it’s simply impossible.