Sunday, February 8, 2009
Adventures in Real Parenting: Not An Epic FAIL
To my son,
Dude, I am so sorry that the baseball coaches didn't see your talent or drive. I know you are a great player who has his head in the game, who sees the next play, who puts everything into the moment, the play, the swing, the throw, catch and slide.
I honestly don't know what they're looking for, but since it's not you, I say fuck them. Or thank you. You know, because it's a mixed blessing kind of thing. You'll still play recreational ball and we won't be saddled with double the insane sport schedule we'd have if you did make the team.
A couple of years ago, your father and I decided not to let you be on one of those traveling teams. Our reasons were both practical and philosophical. Let's face it, we don't have the time, money or energy to do it. We also believe that kids who don't take a break from a sport run the risk of mental and physical burn out. I understand that most of the guys who did make the team are deeply entrenched in the traveling programs, so maybe that was a set back for you. Nevertheless, Dad and I stand by our decision.
We would have cheered you had you made the team, but know that we are equally proud of you for having gone to the tryouts each night, sticking with it through the freezing temperatures, the hard-whipped balls that left imprints of seams on your calves and the growing sense that it was an utter waste of time since the team roster was essentially already set. You wanted to quit. Each night, you'd say you were done and each morning you'd gather your gear and ask someone to pick you up late from school.
And all of that for what?
The satisfaction of knowing that you can start something and finish it. You can try and not make it and still have a sense of self-worth. You're still a good player. Maybe not good enough for that team, but you're a good player, typically one of the best on your rec team.
Sounds like a pile of parent-speak crap doesn't it? Some day you'll understand. You'll have your own monster-clones who will go through the bumps and bruises and mental torture that is childhood and you'll look back at this time of your life and remain convinced that the coach passed over some really great seventh graders so he could put some sixth grade friends of his girlfriend's son on the team. You'll think "my parents were full of shit" right before you do exactly what we've done and our parents did before us, etc.....
Whatever. Life is like that. You may never like it, but you'll become just as noisily resigned to it as the rest of us. You'll bitch about it until everyone's eyes glaze over and they turn the television up a little louder and then you'll move on.
In the meantime, don't let it get you down. The important thing is that you'll continue to play the game you love. And that's what really matters. That and the fact that cool girls totally dig guys in polyester baseball pants......