Because there wasn’t enough soccer being played in our home, both Zach and Zandra tried out for the school soccer teams and made them.
It means sometimes Zach plays soccer after school with the school team, then heads to his regular soccer. Even he admitted he’s tired:(
It also means that there’s more soccer games for us to attend. This past week, both kids, had a soccer tournament during the day – on the same day! The “job” thing that I do and earn a living from is really quite inconvenient on these kind of days. Anyhow, both Rob and I made it to Zandra’s last game, and the last two of Zach’s (Zandra’s were almost all in the morning and Zach’s were later in the day).
They both played amazing and their teams both progressed to the next tournament (yah more missed work!)
However, at Zach’s game we were witness to some disgruntled parents.
I swear, boys don’t have problems until their mothers get involved.
The coach of the team is a hard core competitor. Great guy- he happens to also be Sam’s teacher this year, so we know him quite well. His mentality is not the “everyone makes the team, everyone gets the same game time, everyone gets a trophy” kinda guy. He wants to win. He told the boys upfront that he won’t worry about “fair game time”, but will play whoever is playing their best that day. He didn’t select some players for the team because he said they just weren’t good enough. Ouch. Not the thing to say in our neighborhood.
While we stood cheering for our team on the sidelines, we got to overhear some conversations that a couple of Moms had. In fact, one of these Moms came up to my friend and says “aren’t you glad your son joined the team to be a benchwarmer?” She then encouraged my friend to go over to the coach and complain and make a scene that her kid wasn’t playing as much —- much like the scene she had made earlier that Rob and I were witness to.
I’m sure your 12 year old son loved hearing you berate the coach about how upset you were that your son wasn’t being played, it just wasn’t fair, he’s been sitting on the bench too long etc.
THAT made it so much better for your kid. Hope his friends heard it all too.
I did appreciate the teacher’s response that “life is not fair, and sports will teach kids that.”
So, you may be thinking that I wasn’t upset simply because my kid plays well
and was on non stop.
I was secretly hoping one of the women would say something to me. I had it all planned out what I would say. But no one asked (they ignored me – I’m not part of their “stay at home” crowd), so I’ll just blog about it.
Here’s what I was thinking:
Yes, my kid has been on the field nonstop (and he has scored 3 out of the 7 goals that they scored all day). And I’m so glad he has played all day because THIS is his thing. THIS is where he gets to feel good about himself. THIS is where the ridiculous number of hours he puts into soccer every day, every week, year round pays off.
I don’t see you mothers caring if your kid comments to my child (or any other child) that he/she is not smart enough (What? You don’t know your kid can be outright arrogant and mean when it comes to his math skills?) You don’t seem to mind my kid being put in the back row for a musical performance, or a dance recital. You certainly wouldn’t mind if my kid wasn’t selected to spell words at a spelling B. You really don’t care that my kid may struggle with reading, or keeping his/her stuff organized, or he/she struggles with long jump and running for distance. You also don’t seem to mind throwing a birthday party and not inviting my kid.
Heck, no. You are just worried that your kid is not playing as much soccer as mine for ONE day and it’s “not fair.”
Well, helicopter Mom, life is “not fair” – at least in the way you are looking at fairness. (Rob commented that he couldn’t stand being so close to the Moms because he couldn’t hear himself think past the noise of their helicopter blades!)
Fairness is every kid getting what they need. Not every kid getting exactly the same treatment.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not so good at a lot of things.
If I was playing soccer, I’d be the bench warmer. But thrilled to have at least made the team! Now, would it be nice if I was given the opportunity to play more so that would give me a chance to get better? Sure. But maybe not at a tournament It’s only in the movies where they put the kid on the field who is not the best player and is the reason they win the game. Not reality.
The reality is, or at least what I’m teaching my kids, you aren’t going to be good at everything. That’s ok. Embrace your strengths, work on your weaknesses, but don’t feel bad that you’re not the best at everything! Know what you’re good at and be proud. Know what you are not good at, work hard at it, get better at it, but please please please, celebrate with those who are good at it! You know, maybe they could help you get better. But not if you are bitter at them for being better.
I guess having 5 kids comes in handy sometimes. There is built in competition between all my kids – some excel and some crash – in the same things.
But man, do I have some seriously talented kids. Just in different areas. We want to celebrate their strengths and help with their weaknesses. Fairness, is making sure they all have opportunities to develop their skill sets – that’s what I want to aim for. That’s how I want to make “life fair” for them.
We left the soccer game feeling the eyes burning in our backs from these Moms. Sorry they weren’t able to celebrate in the overall teams success, never mind my kids’s success. Sorry that they couldn’t set the example of being a team player, and being ok with not being the star on the team. Sorry that they likely made their kid feel worse than he did by just sitting on the bench and playing a bit less time.
We just went home and celebrated what my kid happens be good at.
And tomorrow, we’ll keep working at what he is not good at too.