Mother Doesn’t (Always) Know Best

My kids are far better people than I’ve ever been.

I can be mean and hold a grudge, but my kids? Never. No matter how much I try to make them be mean and hold a grudge.

Occasionally their unwillingness to lash out at others upsets me. Friends have abandoned them, lashed out at them, made fun of them and all I can think is: why won’t they say something??  The perfect comeback will spring to my lips and but they won’t go there.

While I stomp around getting mad for my kids they are busy moving on…

I like going for the jugular. It was the best way I could come up with to stop people from picking on me when I was younger. I would find my antagonist’s weakest spot and hammer away at it until he or she backed down.

I’m shocked that I didn’t get punched. I guess it helps that I’m a girl.

I also had (ok, have) a tendency to hold a grudge. Thankfully none of this is genetic.

For example, my 14-year-old has been playing travel soccer for many years and two years ago he was passed over for a spot on his club’s top team.

He was disappointed. I was pissed.

He played every minute of every game for the past three years! What more could he have done?? I wondered to myself and out loud to my husband (and maybe to a couple of close friends) but never, ever to my son (I’m not that parent).

I fumed for an entire year and secretly hoped I could control my son with my thoughts:

Move to another club!

Take up another sport!!

Tell off your coaches!!!

Not surprisingly, he did none of those things and I said nothing.

Dutifully, my son went to every practice for his new team without complaint. He played in every game even as his spirits dropped. It wasn’t a very skilled team and he’s a competitive kid. It was hard to watch but he stuck with it and when tryouts came around again he was moved up. He was thrilled!

I was still pissed.

Now, in case you are wondering, I do not think that my kid is the greatest soccer player in the world, on his team, or even in our neighborhood—nor does he. He’s not shooting for a college scholarship or a spot in the MLS. He just likes to play soccer and I don’t like to see him get screwed.

When this season started he got—maybe—15 minutes of playing time in the first few games. I thought:

Move to another club!

Take up another sport!!

Tell off your coaches!!!

But he was content to be with the team and to play when he was asked.

A turning point came during one game where he played an entire half. He ran off the field excited and dying of thirst. “I figured I wasn’t going to play at all so I drank all of my water before the game even started,” he said, gulping down a bottle of Gatorade.

He found it hilarious.

Little by little he got more playing time. But then the coach he had so desperately wanted to play for left the team and my son had to prove himself again to another coach. When that coach left after the winter season, another coach took over. This coach knew my son and once told me that my son asked too many questions. (Seriously, what coach doesn’t want a kid to ask what he should be working on??)

I secretly hoped that this coach would yell at my son for asking a question so I would have an excuse to tell him off.

He didn’t…much to my dismay.

Instead, the last time we spoke, he had high praise for his my son’s growing skills and was my son’s biggest advocate at the latest round of tryouts. (Good thing I didn’t tell him off, right?)

So now, the soccer season has come to a close and next year my son will be playing for a great team—one that he is very excited to play for. He will need to work hard to prove himself and to get any playing time but he is up for the challenge.

My kid learned a great lesson in perseverance. Too bad he didn’t learn it from me.


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6 responses to this post.

  1. My children are so much better than me.
    If someone hurts their feelings, I want to toilet paper their house.
    That is normal.



  2. Posted by Mary Kakavas on June 14, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    How well I know you have a glib tongue. You take after your grandmother’s.

    Yia Yia



  3. Thank goodness for role modeling. I learn so much from my kids! 😉



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