There are days when this parenting thing seems like a piece of cake. Days start out good, kids off to school, organized, things going well until---BAM they aren't anymore and you find yourself screaming at your 13 year old in VG's parking lot.
That was today. Today my oldest had his first day of basketball tryouts. Now, I hold no illusion that my kids are superstars. They both love sports and play with all their hearts, but lack the killer, go get em' aggressiveness that some kids seem to ooze from every pore.
So I pick him up at 4:30, he gets in, throws his stuff in the backseat, and I thinking I was going to hear great things ask him how it was. His response? "I hate it and the guy is a jerk and I am not going back." Not what I expected at all. I start with the barrage of questions. What happened? Did another kid say something? Was he mean?
Now I guess I should give this disclaimer: My kids are super sensitive...and they have always had really great, easy-going coaches for the most part in the past.
According to Ev, the guy is a jerk who yelled the whole time, made them run and do sprints a ton and some of the other kids in his class yelled at him for not being aggressive enough.
By this time we are in the parking lot of the above said grocery store. The mom in me for a split second wanted to comfort and make it better....but the athlete and competitor in me spoke up and said "Yep, that's how it is." "Suck it up" I then went on to regale him with tales of my evil high school basketball coach who made us run and run and run and do suicide sprints till we puked. How she threw a weighted basketball at my head for not hustling. How I almost quit my sophomore year because I hated her and the mean senior girls I had to play with but how I stuck it out because I loved the game. How my junior year I ended up with a fantastic coach and played a ton. How is was over my dead body that he was giving up on the first day.
Words were exchanged, He yelled, I yelled, I threatened to call his Papa. In the end I called his dad, who had the same conversation as I had with him. Sports are hard. Coaches yell for a reason. Suck it up and try harder tomorrow.
He's going back tomorrow. When we got home we sat on the couch and he put his head on my shoulder and I told him how much I loved him, how awesome I knew he could be and how proud I was of him for trying and keeping going. He stayed there and let me love on him for about five minutes which just about did me in.. If you have ever had a 13 year old boy you know that I get that moment about twice a year. The rest of the year is quick hugs, pecks on the cheek and indifference.
I also made him watch the Jimmy V speech on YouTube . I gave him a quick pep talk before bed and tonight in my prayers I am going to pray that he keeps with it, that he can learn that life is hard and has to work for what he wants. I love this kid but I will not let him quit, and I will not be the kind of parent who butts in. I had to get yelled and pushed and I don't think it hurts kids at all.