I’ve had many titles in my life…many jobs that I’ve done and some I even let define me (shame on me!). I’ve also been called a lot of things in my life (to my face…likely a bunch of unflattering ones behind my back), sweetie by my parents, Jude by my siblings and friends, hun by my husband of over 29 years. I have been called the hammer, the receipt Nazi, the queen of forms by my colleagues but nothing makes me happier than to be called Ma!
Today I pack up the car once again and set off this time to Baltimore for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. The MAAC had to postpone the meet a week while the city dug out from under two snow storms. My husband and I calculated that just this season alone we have logged over 5,000 miles on his SUV and the MAAC’s will put us well over 6,000 miles.
Just a few short years ago I would have wondered about a family that did such a thing. I have worked in college athletics as long as my son has been alive…going on 20 years ago but nothing could have prepared me to be the parent of an NCAA Division I student athlete. I have met many proud parents throughout my career at Canisius College. Most of them have been wonderful, devoted folks whose sacrifice began well before their child stepped onto the playing field (or in our case swimming pool). These are people who gave not only their time but in many cases (hockey parents are a classic example of this) their treasure. Equipment, facility rental, lessons, coaches, tournament fees…it goes on and on…these things cost a lot of money. Swimming is awesome…goggles and a Speedo and off you go!
So, as my Fairfield University sophomore son steps onto the pool deck tomorrow and I once again burst with pride, I would like to congratulate the parents who made this all possible.
Jude Russo Caserta