In our 21 year journey of parenting and home educating our family, we have tried to let our 6 children experience many activities from art to music to photography and filmmaking, various sports, shooting, hunting, traveling, attending camps where they learn about civics and leadership, serving in the church and the community. We hope they will each find things they enjoy and fulfill God’s purpose in their lives. Some are “good” at some things and others thrive when serving or reading or doing community service. We have pursued some “competitive ” things and most of my children have won awards, elections, ribbons for something, have shot a bullseye or graced a stage.
This year our oldest son is attending school in the 9th grade for the first time and playing a few organized sports that he has never played other than in the backyard or a small co-op. He’s slight for his age and has often been marginalized and bullied due to his smaller stature.
This week he got to play for 4 minutes in a varsity basketball tournament and he took a great 3 point shot from pretty far out. The ball went in and out of the hoop and did not make it in. My honest thought as a mom was, “I am so proud of him for taking that shot”. I wished it would have gone in as I know that would have blessed his heart. I have noticed some other parents sort of looking at me at the games this year with pity, since my son sits on the bench most of the time, and I have gotten looks and comments from some other parents that let me know they feel sorry for me. It happened during football when he made a little mistake on a play as well. One of the other “student athletes” went so far recently as to say “Oh yeah, your son hardly ever gets in the game even on JV.” I smiled and said “He’s a really good sport and wants to support the team, and honestly, he is here for the people” It’s true, my son loves to be with people and is happy to be part of a team, he realizes that we did not “specialize” in sports when he was young and he’s not tall, or built or super aggressive in sports. He enjoys playing and being with friends.
The other night after the car ride home from a game 2 1/2 hours a way ( yes I drove 6 hours to attend a game where my son played the last 4 minutes of a game with a 40 point margin in the score) my son said to me ” Mom, thanks for not caring that I am not that great at sports, you never yell at me if I mess up and you encourage me to try my best, but you never criticize how I do.”
Okay, I can just cry now and know that my non aggressive and low competitive nature when it comes to my kids is okay. My kids are awesome, I am happy if they love the players and love the game.
Never feel sorry for me or my kids. We are doing just fine on the bench and in the stands watching and cheering for your kids if that’s their thing. Hope you do the same when it’s others turn to shine.