Friday, March 27, 2009
Oldielocks at bat
Oldielocks plays softball. She has been blessed with a natural athletic ability, just like her dad. This is her second year,and she really enjoys it. The husband helps coach the team, and I get to sit on the sidelines and chase Baloney and Middle, all while trying to watch the game. Every now and then I shove licorice in their dirt encrusted hands and watch them spend forever chewing. It keeps them busy and buys me time to watch Oldielocks play. Candy is the currency of kids I tell you. And 25 cents for 5... I'm a rich momma.
I'm not the overly laid back parent that would rather be lounging on my bed, yet I am not the red-in-the-face-major-league-player-breeder either. I will tell you this, I expect effort. I will not let my child half ass things, in my house, at school or in sport.
Recently, Oldie wants to pitch. I will always let and encourage my kids to go for it, because if they never try, then they will never know. I was recently posed the question if it was too much pressure, for a 9 year old. Being pitcher. Well can't have a game without a pitcher. She likes it, and asks to do it. The problem is, she does great for the husband, and if she starts off great, she keeps going. If she makes one mistake, she stops. Literally a wall comes down, and she gives up. She will pitch the ball, but it will hit the ground. before the plate. Over and over. She stops moving her legs and that's it. Then she suffers throughout the inning until she walks 4 players.
It's painful, when you know she can do it. I look at it as a learning lesson. That life is gonna suck, but when and where you pick it back up is where it matters.
It's hard work, every day. Practicing, honing skills. Hard work is what sets apart the people who want it.
I honestly think some parents today make the world to easy for kids. That they shouldn't have to be disappointed, that they all are winners, that if they are unhappy it needs to be fixed. I think softball is a great teacher for this. She does have her teammates rely on her, she is responsible to others,, She can learn that you can swing and miss or you can swing and hit, but if you don't swing at all, then you have no chance of ever hitting at all. It's not always going to be easy. You can want something badly for someone else. It's okay to feel pressure, people count on you. And it's okay, to rely on others around you. If she walks away with just having tried, then she will be far better in life then never learning to try at all.
We celebrate her successes. She has her mommy encouraging her from the stands, and her daddy, sitting on a bucket, guiding her through every pitch. If she hears no voices but ours, and knows that we believe in her, I know that she will learn to believe in herself. I remember after her first inning pitching, a parent commented that they really liked how the husband sat on a bucket and talked her through every pitch. He turned to them and said " If I could pitch for her, I would." I hope when she grows up, she'll see why we let her feel sad, why we let her feel frustrated, why we watched, hearts aching from the sidelines as she would throw balls, or miss a play. And all that we ever asked, was that she try.