Being quiet has never been a strong trait of mine. As a matter of fact, since as far back as I can remember, probably grade school, I can remember my mouth getting me into trouble. I am a very opinionated person and I believe I was also born without a filter which is sometimes a good thing but sometimes it can be a very bad thing. For the most part I keep my stronger opinions to myself but there are times when I feel like something must be said and that's where I seem to get myself into trouble sometimes. But having said that, there is one time that you will never find me standing back and keeping quiet and that is when my children are involved. I feel like my job as a Mom comes with so many other jobs and one of those other jobs is "advocacy." If I don't advocate for my child sometimes, who will? My 10 year old, Drew, didn't take after me in that department..... he is just like his Daddy. Often times I feel like I have to speak up for him and take up for him because he is too backward to do it himself. My 9 year old daughter, now she's another story (HA!) but having a quiet child, while not the end of the world, can be really disheartening sometimes because you so want them to stand up for themselves but you just know that they aren't going to.
Drew has played baseball since he was 4 years old. He loves it! I can still remember his first year when he ran the bases backwards (yep, he ran to 3rd base first) and sometimes he wouldn't run at all unless his coach held his hand and ran with him. Yep, just a little on the shy side. But watching him play has always been a highlight of mine. When he got a few years older and started to play on more competitive teams, I decided that there was no better place to be. He's such a hard worker and never complains about practicing, even when we are in the middle of a 100 degree+ heat wave. We plan our entire summer around his ball schedule. Yep, that's right. Before we do anything at all, we check our ball schedule and if there is ball, that takes 1st place. Drew loves being a part of the team and knowing that his team will suffer without him being there, he makes sure he is always there. He has played in the worst conditions and a couple of times even when he was sick. He just hates to let people down and I love that about him. He is dependable and I think that's a great trait to have.
When I picked him up from practice last night, I could see something wrong in his eyes as soon as he walked out of the dugout. He gave me "the look" that he wanted to get out of there, FAST! I hurried to the van and as soon as I got in, I could see he was hurting. Before I could even ask him what was wrong, he had already burst into tears. All I could make out were the words "outfield, cup, mean." Oh geesh. I had already started backing out of the parking lot so I whipped back in the parking spot and put my van in park again. I looked at the clock and realized that the All Star game had already started and I was missing my beloved Joey Votto playing 1st base for the National League. HAHA! So I told him I couldn't understand him so he needed to stop crying for a minute so I could hear what happened. Continuing to cry, he told me what had happened and through the tears I really didn't understand the problem. So I told him I was getting out and I was going to talk to his coach. Long story short was that because he didn't wear a protective cup to practice, his coach made him spend the practice in Left Field instead of his usual position, 2nd base. Now while this normally wouldn't upset my son so much, he was upset because 5 other boys on the team also weren't wearing cups and they got to keep their positions. So he felt like he was singled out. Now inside my head I was thinking, just let it go. Drop it. Forget about it. It's not that big of a deal. Maybe the coach was just having a bad day and my son was the one who had to suffer for it. Big deal. He'll get over it. But one look at my little boy's heartbroken eyes and I couldn't let it go. So I politely asked the coach what had happened during practice. Yes, politely, I swear. So his coach pretty much told me the same thing that Drew had told me. That was what had happened. And yes, he confirmed that other boys on the team also were not wearing a cup and yes, they got to keep their positions for the practice. This was strange to me because Drew never wears a cup to practice and it has never been a big deal. He does wear one to games but he absolutely hates them and prefers not to wear one so we have never made a big deal out of it. But for some reason last night it was a big deal. Was I mad that my kid got singled out? Absolutely. Was I sad for my son who had to experience the unfairness of the situation? Of course. Was I insulted that the coach didn't seem to care about my son who has been so faithful to his team for 4 years? Without a doubt. But I walked away. I listened to his side of the story and walked away. I told Drew that sometimes things in life just aren't fair but that we just suck it up and move on. It's hard when you see your kid work so hard for something that he wants so badly. Never missing a practice, never missing a game just to secure his spot on the team. Always showing up. On time. Every time. Giving 100%. But it's a life lesson that he needs to learn sooner or later. Life isn't always fair. Someday someone else is going to get a promotion that he deserved to have. Someday he is going to have a boss or a coworker that he doesn't like. Maybe even a boss that picks on him. But sometimes things in life can't be changed. I went home last night and took a lot of deep breaths. A lot. And I smiled when I saw Drew cuddled up with Daddy watching the All Star game, all happy again. Sometimes we can make a mountain out of a mole hill. But this time I felt good that I walked away because I had someone watching me. My wonderful 10 year old son who I love to death who I want to teach that sometimes it's better to be the bigger person and just walk away from things. He's such a great boy that I am SO proud of and someday he will realize that these problems are just one of the many hiccups he is going to have in life. But I feel good knowing that I am teaching him, by example, that some things in life just aren't worth getting yourself upset over.