Back at the beginning of my daughter's ball playing days, my husband and I talked and reassured ourselves that we would NOT become the crazy sports parents! You know the ones! If you don't have a child athlete, you have at least been to an event where you see/hear a parent and just KNOW they are a crazy! I'm not sure how parents in general have evolved from just dropping a kid off at a game 40 years ago, to showing up and cheering for your kid 20 years ago , and finally now where the average parent is a big flaming ball of crazy! It was not even a full season before we had to remind ourselves to keep our cool. Now, five years, at least three ruined adult friendships, several disappointments in basic human decency, and too many heated verbal exchanges and dirty looks later... here we are. Sitting at the back of the field, away from anyone who may make a comment about our daughter or anyone else's daughter for that matter.
After one particularly nasty night at the ball park, I wrote this letter.
To MY daughter, the softball player,
I'm sorry I'm not your agent and PR rep. I had no idea you would need one. I thought being your mom and biggest fan was enough.
I'm sorry your dad and I were naïve enough to think softball was a game, good exercise and a way to make lifelong friends. We had no idea that it had become a surreal reality show complete with parent alliances, backstabbing, name calling and power plays. We had no idea you would not be seen as a potential friend for someone's daughter but a threat to their daughter's spotlight.
I'm sorry we taught you that if you work hard enough for something, you can get it. We did not realize that childhood athletics had become a second chance at glory for adults. A place where favors are traded, in-crowds still exist and the purpose of our kids is to make us parents important and in demand.
I'm sorry that now, at the age of 12. 12!!! We have learned too late that this game is not a game for kids but a life-sized chess board for the parents to play.
I'm sorry I never learned how to play chess.
So... What to do now?
This is what I need you to know.
I'm your mom first and your biggest fan.
Always respect your elders. Other parents, coaches, umpires or the dude stocking produce at the grocery! If I see you displaying disrespectful behavior, I reserve the right to snatch you off the field ( or out of the store) by your ear after making you apologize to everyone! Whether or not they deserve it is no excuse to be disrespectful or rude, you are a kid.
Remember your priorities; GOD, others, then yourself. At the end of it all, softball is a game. A game that may take you through High School, possibly College but rarely further than that. It won't last forever but you will always need GOD. You will have a life outside of softball and it's our job to prepare you.
Always listen to your coach on the field. Remember us saying this before every season? It's not because we don't enjoy helping you but for the time you are on a team, we are not in charge of your game. You will have many coaches throughout your playing days, and they will all coach differently. Learn to adapt. This is a metaphor for life actually, and that's another lesson.
Don't ever think too highly of yourself. There is a fine line between confidence and conceit. You are good but there is always, ALWAYS, someone better. Thank people for their compliments but don't hold on to them for long.
Be happy playing your game. If there comes a time when you want to quit, we are ok with that. This is YOUR thing, not OURS.
Be nice to the friends you have on the field, no matter if their parents like you or not. No matter if they like your dad and I , or not. Adults sometimes forget they are talking about a kid, a growing, learning, developing kid and not a full grown professional.
When you become a parent, and your kid plays a sport, be supportive. Be supportive but remember, it's THEIR game, not YOURS!
I love you no matter what. I can never say it enough.
I am proud of you. I see the hard work you put in, the everyday practices, the learning and developing, and I am proud of you. I love that you found something you genuinely enjoy. You are the best!
It's a slippery road folks. I'm not saying I haven't been a crazy! I'm saying, lets make a conscious effort to not be! You want to support your kid, I get that. The problem comes when you lift your kid up at the expense of others. Take the time to examine your motives, everyday. Find everyday opportunities to be a positive encouragement to your kids and those around you.
Sometimes you just get in a funk! Right?
We've all been there at one time or another. Work, school, kids... All things we love and deal with everyday, but things that can drain your energy at times as well. You deal! You take a break, take a vacation, take a nap, eat a whole, entire bag of Cool Ranch Doritos or the batch of cookies you just made "for the kids". Whatever works, ya know.
Have you ever found yourself in a spiritual funk? ( I hope it isn't just me). Maybe all the religious persecution going on or the round-the-clock bad news gets to you after a while. Maybe you have been sick and not able to get out to church. Maybe you have a 2 year old and have not been able to sit through an entire worship service since he was born ( but you really do adore him!). Sometimes a funk just happens, but a "spiritual funk" makes me feel worse. It makes me feel alone, incapable, discouraged... How do you snap out of it? You can always head to the Bible. Read the WORD! Try finding a good devotional or follow an inspirational blog. What did it for me lately was a large gathering of thousands of christian youth!
This past weekend, our youth participated in the annual Lads to Leaders convention. If you are not familiar with the L2L program, click the link in the previous sentence. If I describe it to you simply, it is a training program for the youth of the church, intended to nurture and develop leadership skills and confidence in the WORD. Were I to describe it in feelings, I would have to use: amazing, encouraging, restorative, proud, heartening. I could go on and on, you get the picture. In a world where Christian beliefs are under attack and it seems like America's young people are rotten to the core, it is an absolute blessing when you come across good being done on both fronts! It does a heart wonders to be surrounded by literally thousands of people who share your beliefs. To see so many people involved in something positive makes one believe the tide can turn! We ARE raising good kids! There ARE still believers! Your kids CAN have a great future! A difference is being made!
My name is Joni.
I am a Christian, building my relationship with God. I am a wife, committed to loving and supporting my husband. I am a mom , trying to raise two children to be the best they can be spiritually, mentally, and physically. I am a US citizen trying to be a responsible, knowledgeable and informed American. I am an unapologetic Disney World junkie and love to help people enjoy their Disney Vacation! In my heart, I am an organized, exercise loving, meal planning super mom. All that being said....I, like many others, sometimes fail miserably at some or all of the above. This is a blog to help me dump some of the never ending thoughts that clutter my mind and help me make the most of the EVERYDAY.
How the Blog started...
Do you ever have those almost perfect moments? Not absolutely perfect because there is no such thing, I'm talking about as near as possible to perfect. Would you notice that moment if it came along?
Way back in May of 2015, my little family and I were driving home from supper. My car had been making a mysterious noise and I rolled my window down so the hubby could listen for it. As mysterious noises always go, as soon as I purposely had someone else listen for it it never made a peep. Leaving the windows down, we drove in silence for a while. Silence that only parents in a car with a 2 and 12 year old can appreciate fully. I realized the weather was actually nice outside for this time of year, with almost no humidity. So we rode with the windows down, enjoying the breeze, listening to the 80's on 8 with the smell of sweet olive in the air. And life was good; peaceful, beautiful, almost perfect. I thought, "Thank you, God, for these moments to reflect on your creation."
I also started thinking about how I need to notice and appreciate these times more. We are so busy these days that we just go from one task to the next, not thinking or paying attention to anything but the completion of one thing and the moving on to the next. SO...the idea of the blog was born. A place where I can share with others and hopefully we can encourage each other to live In The Everyday.
My name is Joni...
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