We have entered a new chapter in parenting. We are not prepared. It has both my husband and I a little worried.
Our son is eight and a half and has started playing competitive sports. Baseball and basketball to be specific. I don't know if I can handle it.
I grew up playing sports. I was involved. I wanted to be the best. There was always someone better, but I found success and had my place.
My husband was the same way.
We have put aside a lot of our competitive drive. We don't need it like we used to.
But now, as we sit and watch him play, it all comes back. All of it. The fight, the drive, the need to win and to be the best. I even miss the confrontation and physicality that comes with playing sports.
*Our son is more passive. The fight is in him, I have seen it. But he is not big on physical contact. His first thought is not to body-check someone under the hoop.
*He feels that if he is part of the winning team then he has done great. Regardless of how he performed. I keep trying to tell him this is not true.
*On top of that, he likes to analyze. He thinks everything through. He needs to know the why's behind what is being done.
*To make matters worse. He is an unbelievable athlete. He is tall, strong, and smart. His hand eye coordination is fantastic. He has been golfing since he was two. It is frustrating to sit there and watch him NOT use his talents.
All of this is so foreign to my husband and me. We try to teach him to get physical, to fight and to force. We try to instill the NEED to be the best, to not settle for any less. Instead, last week we watched as his biggest concern was everything happening in the gym except his own game. Heaven forbid he pay attention.
I want to tell him, NONE OF THAT MATTERS. GET THE REBOUND AND SHOOT THE BALL.
We have asked him if he wants to play and he continues to make it clear that he loves both of the sports.
So here we sit. Wanting more from our son. Wanting to change him and feeling like our expectations are not being met. After all, we are athletes in this family. Right! RIGHT!!!
My husband and I have spend a lot of nights talking about this. Trying to understand our son, and trying to understand ourselves.
We have come to understand that it's possible we have unrealistic expectations.
We compare him to other kids. (Contrary to popular belief, this will never help him get better.)
We are taking Junior Jazz Basketball way to serious.
We worry to much about his performance. It's not life or death.
We need a better sense of humor. We need to laugh at the situation more. Have you even seen 8 year olds play basketball. It IS pretty funny.
We need to see the bigger picture.
The bigger picture.
We have always expected our son would be just like we were, like his uncles, grandpas, and great-grandpas. We need to stop assuming.
He is only eight. There is plenty of time for him to excel in a sport, or even start paying attention to a sport. He might be more of an individual sport guy. Golf and tennis. That would be great.
He is a good boy. The best. He is kind, compassionate, sensitive, respectful and obedient. He is a hard worker. He always tries to do what is right. He is smart and does well in school. He is constantly trying to learn new things. He has an amazing ability to understand math and science. He is funny and has a great sense of humor. He is helpful, a great big brother and is always looking out for others. He is focused and inquisitive. They don't come any better than him.
This Saturday, when I sit in the bleachers, I need to focus more on how wonderful he is, and not so much on the fact that he didn't get the rebound.