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October 31, 2008

There is No Hair in Team

1_3 It is High School Varsity Soccer playoff season here in the Northeast and the level of frenzy surrounding our team has reached new heights. To say that this team is pumped would be a gross understatement. Many of them are seniors and playing their bittersweet final series of games for our hometown.

These boys have given me great insight into why being a part of a team is so important to teenagers. Yes, there are superstars, some of whom are being actively recruited for Div1 teams that will determine their futures. But many of them never get off the bench during games like this. Yet they all feel the same sense of obligation to the team, to one another, to their school. Which leads me to... THE HAIR.

There is a long-standing tradition for this soccer team to sport Mohawks if they reach the playoffs. On a cold and rainy October afternoon, half the team marched into the local barbershop and one by one sat in Dom's chair where he crafted every version of the classic mohawk that you can imagine.

My son was there, watching each young man bring his own brand of style to the table. Somewhere around buzz cut #3 he called and asked me to make an appointment with 'his own guy'. At 16, mohawking for the team was a big enough sacrifice, doing it without his beloved Angelo holding the razor was not happening for this guy.

All but 3 or 4 or the 'hair boys' on the team came onto the field this afternoon with a mohawk. They had walked the halls of the school all day branded as a part of this team. A unit. There was a sense of pride and belonging that cannot be matched. Pride, now there is an emotion that has gotten diluted in these cynical times.

This simple, playful act made me think about what is important when raising teens. You can not put a price on the sense of belonging and camaraderie this team has given my son.

He may be one of the guys on the bench this year in 11th grade, but he knows his hard work will bring him playing time as a senior.

And if he is lucky, another seat in the barbershop for next years playoffs.

Original 50-something Moms Blog post. Posted by Amy Zimmerman. Amy also blogs at i could cry but i dont have time and leaving the zip code.

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