I love sports! Well, mostly basketball, college basketball.  My husband and I like watching games on TV, and we also like to go to championship games, whenever possible around the U.S.  However, that’s become more difficult to do now that we are parents of little ones.

The first game we took our daughter to was a first round National College Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament game when she was only 2 years old.  We weren’t planning on attending because we already had plans, but it turned out that our plans fell through at the last-minute.

So, after a few clicks on Stub Hub, a secondary ticket vendor, we had tickets to the game, and we were updating our Facebook statuses to see who else was going to be there.

We didn’t want to impose on my parents to watch our daughter overnight with such short notice, so we took her with us on a spur of the minute 4 hour road trip to Rhode Island to see some college basketball.

We had no idea what to expect.  She was newly potty trained, and the game was a double-header, meaning that there were actually two games, one after the other.

Well, a college basketball fan was born that day.  Sarah loved it!  She loved the mascots, and she got excited to learn the cheers and see if the ball would get into the basket.  The stadium food – pretzels, hot dogs, etc. didn’t hurt, either.  We try to eat healthy at home, but here, we splurged.

My girls are my life.  But, for just this one day, there would be organic lollipops packed in my bag. Just so Mommy can watch her team…

Sarah made it through the first game, napped on me for the first half of the 2nd game, and was up in time to cheer again in the second half.

In the end, we asked her what her favorite part was, and she answered “the dancing girls”.  She liked the cheerleaders, too, but she chose the half time dance team as her favorite.

I didn’t think much into why she chose them.  I just thought that she found them the most entertaining to her.

That was over a year ago, and since then, we’ve taken her to a handful more college basketball games.  Her favorite is always the dancing girls, and she loves to dance in her seat and join in the cheers.

So, this year we watched many of the games of “March Madness”, the NCAA tournament, on TV at home.  I gave birth at the beginning of March to a second little girl, so we weren’t ready to take our show on the road.

But, something really interesting happened.

We had the ESPN game highlights on in the background and my daughter started exclaiming “Ladies!!!  Ladies!!! Mom, look!!! Ladies are playing!!”  I looked up at the screen and saw the highlights of a women’s college basketball game.

That’s when it hit me.  She had no idea that women can play basketball outside of our own driveway hoop, too.  We’ve only been going to men’s basketball games. And, it was now clear that she favors the dancing girls and cheerleaders at college basketball games because they are female like her, and she can better relate to them.

I felt a bit guilty.

But then, after thinking about it, I decided we needed an action plan. And, I know what I have to do now for next season.  I think the WNBA and our local college women’s basketball team just made two new fans.

Is there a sport that you enjoy watching with your children? Or, is there a past time that you enjoy too much to give up, so you’ve brought your children along with you?

This is an original World Moms Blog post by Veronica Samuels.  Veronica can be found on her Facebook Page, on Twitter @VeronicaSamuels and contributing to Jersey Moms Blog.

Photo credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/33779774@N08/4102549774/in/set-72157622799358170/. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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