For those not in Ireland GAA is the organisation behind our national sports – Gaelic Football and Hurling (there is a Camogie association for the ladies). Many parents, myself included, get their kids involved in sports and in Ireland often that sport is one of the two GAA codes as they are known.
Image: Peter Mooney, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Our oldest plays both football and hurling which is great. Our little man has started and last Saturday our youngest snuck into the Academy session (she is 6 months off joining age). As each of them now becomes involved in the sport we can feel ourselves as parents getting sucked into being GAA parents. A few signs that you too may be developing along that road include:
1. You can’t fit your shopping in the boot because the boot is full of hurls/helmets and other GAA equipment
2. Your car interior contains half a football pitch worth of mud with decorative splatters on the dashboard
3. Discussions about weekend plans begin with ‘what time is training?’ Or ‘Are there any matches on?’
4. Weekends end up being only about training and matches; Sunday morning is no longer sacred (not in a religious sense anyway).
5. Your family planning involves planning all your children to be born in January to take full advantage of the fact that the GAA look at children’s ages on 1st January to determine their age category. I failed miserably here with my first arriving 22nd December – disaster!
6. You risk hypothermia standing on the sidelines of matches cheering on your little one (although once experienced you wrap up warm and bring a flask of coffee).
7. You have experienced the pure joy (not really) of trying to fit a mouth guard to a 5-year-old.
8. You have a wardrobe full of Cul Camp bags and kit
9. You get roped into coaching teams of young kids (or your husband does, thanks hubby!)
10. You feel immense pride seeing your kids running around and having loads of fun!