Tagged with "sports"
8 Nov
2017
Posted in: parenting
By    1 Comment

One of Us

kindness matters quote

I’m a nervous creature by nature and have serious worrying tendencies. Sending our oldest to high school sent me through a minefield of emotions. I’d never attended a school that size, excluding college. He’d be with hundreds of students from all over the county, and I knew this point marked the time he would be more with others and less with us. All we had taught and trained him up with would be put to actual test.

When I dropped him off at his first high school football practice in early August, I prayed and wished that he would find kind teammates and adults who would see him like I do. Three weeks later when marching band began, I prayed for more kind teens and caring adults. I slowly felt my tension ease with every story, every friend, every encounter he related. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good.

He knew what I was worried about: upperclassmen picking on underclassmen, belittling coaches, teachers who no longer like their job, struggling in class, unkind classmates, drugs, alcohol, depression, etc. Every ABC Afterschool Special I grew up watching was on my list of concerns and a whole lot more the folks at ABC didn’t see coming for this generation. My high school only housed 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Freshmen were still in the junior high. I didn’t have any senior friends when I was his age, unless you count a few friends’ siblings. He has a couple classes with seniors and calls a couple dozen teammate. Chalk high school up as one more parenting milestone I felt ill-equipped to handle.

I’ve spent this first quarter asking questions about everything to anyone who would listen. Slowly my knowledge base has grown, while my worries fade to the background. I doubt I’ll ever shake those shackles, but I’m less fearful of this phase than I was three months ago. We have a decade of high school to look forward to with our four children. Those worries will rise to the surface and a few will probably come to fruition, but starting this journey on a positive note was an answered prayer.

Having two activities begin before the start of school, while cutting into my travel plans, was the most beneficial thing to happen to our freshman. He knew several teachers, loads of students in all grades and his way around campus. The first day was a formality by the time it rolled around.

I have told parents, teachers, teenagers and coaches stories about the kindness they have shown. We all get into a groove doing certain tasks and sometimes don’t see them for the gesture they are, whether it’s inspirational quotes, meals, car pooling or simply a kind word. Those little things, especially coming from several sources at once, make all the difference in a situation.

After the last regular season home football game, I took a moment on the field to thank a group of seniors for how kind they had been to our son. One big, burly lineman replied, “It wasn’t anything. He’s one of us, and we take care of each other.” We all belong together and are better off when we take care of one another.

Kindness matters. Love one another. Be kind. Always be inclusive. All these phrases and more I’ve repeated over and over throughout the last 15 years, I now watch teenagers live acting by example. It’s not everyone in the high school or even on the team. It’s a place filled with hormones and rapidly changing people who are perfectly imperfect, but they are showing kindness. Parents, we’re getting through to this next generation. I sometimes feel my words fall on deaf ears in parenting, but when I take a step back and watch these kids, I have renewed hope for this world that seems to have gone mad and lost its way.


 
Out of the Busy Race
By     |    Oct 12, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Out of the Busy Race

Out of the Busy Race

I’ve officially dropped out of the race for most busy mother. Someone else can take the title. There are people in my vast circle who bring out the worst in me. You have them too. They want you to see all the balls they’re juggling at any given time. They are constantly on their phones. They want you to know what they’ve had to do without any help from anyone. I’ll find myself spouting off my own to-do list and... [Read More]

Read more
Adjusting to a Different Summer
By     |    Jun 21, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Adjusting to a Different Summer

Adjusting to a Different Summer

I miss preschoolers. Maybe I don’t miss everything about having young children, but parenting a teen and a tween this summer has me nostalgic for truly lazy days of summer. I was prepared for life to change when our oldest entered high school. He’s active and involved. I knew certain things, like sports, would require more time. He hit the ground running this summer and his commitment motivated our 7th grader to start his own training program. By 9:45 a.m.... [Read More]

Read more
For the Love of Humanities
By     |    Apr 27, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on For the Love of Humanities

For the Love of Humanities

It was evident early in our parenting journey that our children had an affinity toward sports. They enjoyed playing anything we exposed them to and watching sports was a family activity we rallied around. As a former sports reporter, having children who enjoyed something I loved was an easy way to connect. Early on we decided, as parents, that our children would be exposed to a wide array of experiences. We didn’t want their childhood to solely revolve around fields... [Read More]

Read more
That Time I Danced in a Competition
By     |    Apr 11, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on That Time I Danced in a Competition

That Time I Danced in a Competition

I collapsed under friendly peer pressure and danced in a Spotlight Dance Cup Regional competition last weekend…on a stage…with an audience and judges. Gulp. It all started last summer when I took an adult ballet class to better understand my daughter and her passion for dance. I heard rumors that our studio director wanted to do a moms and dads dance for this season. Not happening. I enjoyed class but was not going on stage. I repeat, I was not... [Read More]

Read more
If Only There Was a Parenting Guidebook
By     |    Mar 22, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

If Only There Was a Parenting Guidebook

This morning my youngest son asked what the hardest part is of parenting. It took me a few minutes to decide. Not being able to fix heartbreak. Not being able to fix injuries. Watching time slip through my fingers. Making sure everyone feels listened to and treated fairly. All possible answers. The one I gave him: there’s no guidebook. Sure there are plenty of books on parenting. I remember with our oldest flipping through “What to Expect the First Year”... [Read More]

Read more
Coaching and Expectations
By     |    Oct 19, 2016
Posted in: uncategorized     |    1 Comment

Coaching and Expectations

Three years ago when our oldest son started youth tackle football, people told me to be prepared. Tackle football was not for the faint of heart. There was the physical nature of football, but there was also the nature of football coaches for these 5th and 6th grade-age boys. By the third football game of our son’s first season, it was apparent that football coaches were different than any coaches our athletic children had ever been acquainted. Our oldest son’s... [Read More]

Read more
Learn Something New: Adult Ballet
By     |    Jul 7, 2016
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Learn Something New: Adult Ballet

Learn Something New: Adult Ballet

Each year I make a short list of books to read, places to visit and a new thing to learn. I manage to finish the book list and cross off places we visited. Then there’s the thing to learn. For three years, the new thing has remained the same: take a ballet class. It sits at the bottom of the list with me making no attempts to make it a reality. The excuses piled up. I’m almost 40, surely too... [Read More]

Read more
Learning the Dance Curve
By     |    Apr 11, 2016
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Learning the Dance Curve

Learning the Dance Curve

Dance class has brought our daughter much joy over the last couple of years. It’s the thing that brings the most joy to her six-year-old heart. This year we put more time into her sport and added one son to the dance floor. Sports in our family are typically played with a ball on a field or court. There are referees not adjudicators. Scoreboards clearly tell you where you stand. Dance has been a learning curve. I’ve heard people snicker... [Read More]

Read more
Meaning Behind Childhood Heroes
By     |    Feb 3, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

Meaning Behind Childhood Heroes

I was recently verbally slapped for my 8-year-old’s choice of heroes. They are, for the most part, athletes, and another adult expected better from me as the parent. I was told it should bother me he didn’t name a scientist or teacher or former president. It doesn’t. As he matures, his list will change and those larger-than-life people he sees on TV and in the news will no longer dominate his thoughts, but stay firmly planted in memories of his... [Read More]

Read more
For Our Teenage Son
By     |    Nov 10, 2015
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on For Our Teenage Son

For Our Teenage Son

I quietly listened to an acquaintance lament about life with a teenage son. I knew she expected me to jump in with my own complaints, but I wasn’t taking the bait. I spent years listening to people tell me to just wait until I had a teenager. It always sounded ominous. Our man/child first born is, at the worst, annoying, loud, selfish and stinky. I know the teenage waters have potential to become choppy and murky over the years, but... [Read More]

Read more
Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child
By     |    Oct 20, 2015
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child

Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child

Our middle son came into the world quietly. He spent the first few hours of his life wide-eyed staring at us, but the quiet didn’t last long. He struggled to gain weight those first few months and refused to sleep most of his first year of life. He cried a lot, and I shed my share of tears. Those first 13 months were riddled with worry for that boy, and I never really shook the extra concern for him. Fast... [Read More]

Read more