People always say how much they learn about themselves when they have kids.And it’s true. And I did.
But when my kids started playing sports, the learning progressed to a whole new level.
It’s not all bad, what I’ve learned about myself.And I’m not all through either.The learning doesn’t stop when your athlete leaves home to play in college.Just because you’re not there to help them cope, doesn’t mean your heart is hardened to their struggles.
Actually, I probably knew most of these things about myself before my kids started playing sports. But gymnasium and field lights can expose new angles to old traits.And sometimes it’s not a pretty sight.
What have I learned?
·I want control.I want to know that every situation my kid encounters will work out perfectly.And the more I can do to help it, the better.
·I want to fix everything for my kids. Maybe a talk with the coach, or telling off that mouthy parent, or pushing my kid to work extra hard will fix things.Then again, maybe not.
·I sometimes say stupid things.After games, before games, after practices, before practices.I’ve pretty much done it all. Biting my tongue is a skill I’m still developing.
·I worry way too much. When my son was starting quarterback, I’d get diarrhea the day of his games.When my daughters played as varsity starters, I could not eat before the games.It’s a rough way to lose weight. And here’s the kicker: worry never ever helped them play better.It was just a habitual waste of time that disrupted bodily functions.
·I’m very competitive. Yes, I knew this before.It would come out when I was watching the Miami Dolphins or when I played ping pong with my siblings.But the competitiveness I feel when watching my kids play sports is almost embarrassing.What mom doesn’t always want her kids to win and succeed and shine and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are the best there ever was?
·I love my children very much. Of course I knew this before they played sports.But the reason that I do all those other dumb things is because I do love my kids so much. And sometimes I just can’t control the way it shows.
My youngest daughter is a senior in high school, still playing sports and hoping to play in college. My son is a college sophomore, playing football. And my oldest daughter just graduated from four years of college softball.
It’s been a long 17 years of self-discovery.What has your journey looked like?