Last week was my oldest (5) little boys first week in basketball, and his first real endeavor into sports. He was so excited on the first night of practice…while they were waiting for the coach to get things started he was bouncing his ball around and shooting hoops with the other kids. He had the BIGGEST smile on his face. The kind of smile that gives you one of those warm fuzzy “mommy moments.”
However, when “practice” really started, his smile disappeared. It was apparant, to him and to us, that he was by far the youngest kid on the team, and the least experienced. He didn’t know what he was doing, where to go, who to guard. He persevered through the practice, but I could see that he wasn’t sure if he thought this was fun anymore.
After practice, we talked with him in the car about how he would need to practice if he wanted to learn and get better. He smiled and said he would like that. We got him a new (smaller) basketball and put his basketball hoop up on the garage (since our backyard has turned into a lake) so he could practice. And he did. He worked hard out there all week. It was sweet to watch my husband and him work together.
But I could still sense his apprehension…and this morning, when it was time to get ready for the first game, he broke down sobbing. Really sobbing. I was torn…I didn’t want to be pushy parents, I could care less if he is good at, or loves basketball. But I also wanted him to know that he was part of a team and he would be letting them down if we didn’t go. I want him to show perseverance in life when things come his way that aren’t easy. We (my husband and I ) stepped aside and talked…and decided to pull him off the team We called to let them know he wasn’t coming, and moved on with our day. It was the best choice for us, in that moment, and I will stand by it. But, I still feel bothered by the fact that we let him “quit.” Are we teaching hm to give up to easily when things are hard? If we had chosen perseverance, would we have been pushing him? Who knows. I guess it’s just one of those things on my mommy list that I can mark “I tried.”