Apr 16, 2009


The sun was setting on a very beautiful day in New England and there I was sitting in my green fold up chair on a middle school field in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. I was proud of myself because I was prepared. I had a book. I had a water bottle. I had Twizzlers pull and peel licorice. I remembered my coat. My hair was brushed. Brian was on his way to the church with all the kids who had activities there. Natalie was at a friends house. Perfection was oh so close.

The first sign of trouble is that I never sit by anyone. This is our second season of lacrosse and "they" are a pretty tight family. I doubt any of them have 7 kids and have to be a lot of other places to be besides lacrosse. They all spend the night at hotels, and eat at restaurants and bond at tournaments while the Baird's show up for the Saturday tournament games only and then rush home. No bonding for us. I deserve to sit alone. I have done nothing to earn lacrosse parent friends.

The second sign of trouble was that my child played 5 minutes of the first half. Whew....I can not think of many things more painful than that. Your mind really starts whirling. Laying out all the facts. Going back and forth. Wondering. I start thinking where can I find an extra lacrosse stick so I can toss the ball with Joe. I wonder if he is behaving in practice. I remember how much he loved soccer. In Indiana he played a lot of soccer. He was going to be on the middle school boys soccer team before we moved. He played community soccer that maybe had one game on Sunday out of the whole season. He was good at it. You feel bad for your kid standing over there on the sidelines high fiving all the kids that get to play because they are good. You imagine those kids parents having time and money to invest in making sure their kid gets to play more than 5 minutes. You remember when your child got all the playing time in soccer and you think about how you did not notice the kids who didn't. You feel a twinge of conscience for that.

The second half starts. Your team is losing horribly. So you figure maybe the coach will start putting the not so good kids in to play. You see your kid get to go on the field. You hold your breath. Because you also know he is not so good at lacrosse. But you did not need to hold your breath because even when he is standing there wide open no one throws the ball to him. The parents around you who do not know it is your kid are wondering out loud why is no one tossing the ball to that kid, "he's wide open."? Your heart aches a little bit.....okay maybe a lot of aching. You just wanted your son to make some friends and get some exercise and learn something new. You forgot about the, "competition thing." The friends/exercise/learning something new stage is past. You missed it, because you were living somewhere else in the United States where they do not play lacrosse at all. There definitely are benefits to never moving.

You start thinking about talking to the coach and you hate it when you start thinking that. Your kids hate it even more than you do. :) You can not help yourself, you have that annoying problem that you have to know things and not only that you like people to know that you know things. So when the game is over and you child practically runs to you with relief you hand him the car keys and tell him to head to the car and you convince him you will be right there. You mosey over to the coach and just ask a few questions about what you can do to help your child have a few successes. You smile and talk nicely and he smiles and talks nicely but you wonder what you are both really thinking.

You get in the car and head for home. Your child mentions that he asked the superstar on the team why he did not throw the ball to him when he was wide open and your kid says that that kid said, "because, you suck." You hate that your kid has to learn a hard lesson. One of those annoying life lessons. You start talking..... blah blah blah...no one is good at everything, blah, blah, blah, you have to work hard and practice if you want to be good. Finally your child just nicely asks if you can talk about something else so you do.

You try to talk to some other people in your family about what to do. But that does not work out so well. Don't you hate it when no one sees things the way you do? :) So you finally come full circle like you always do and realize if you want something to happen you have to take care of it yourself. You also realize this is a good chance to teach your child a little about life. You hope as you are focusing on the 13 year old everyone else can hold themselves together and not need too much therapy when they grow up because you are ignoring them. And you start today spending twenty minutes with Joe by going up to Stanley Park to hit the lacrosse ball against the cement wall to figure out how the silly lacrosse stick works.

And you most importantly say over and over, "glass half full not half empty." And try not to get too worked up about trying to solve all the unfairness in the world. :)

Oh, the picture? Joe is not in it :)


CJ said...

Do they not play soccer at Joe's school? If he likes it and is good at it I would try to get him on a soccer team so he can enjoy it and feel good about himself. Nothing sucks more then being picked last and never getting to play because you are not very good. Does he like lacrosse and have friends there so he wants to keep going or does it only make him feel worse because he doesn't get to play?

My Many Coloured Days said...

Ohhh. Am not looking forward to those moments. You are a good mom.