Goaling Pains

So, it’s been a while. Perhaps life gets a little routine, and for me, I just need to shut it off for a while. Im sure you know what I mean.

During this little break from writing, Greyson has come a very long way. He continues to push through school academically. Although below standard year after year, he continues to hold his own. I still shake my head at his brilliance.

Greyson desires friendship, and social stimulus more than ever, and that is certainly getting more complicated. His peers continue to motor along the freeway of social development, while he rides along the rumple strip with his caution lights on.

As always, don’t be confused. I’m not downplaying how amazing he is doing. I’m just being honest. My standard for him, is higher than yours, as it should be. That doesn’t mean I don’t ignore that standard often enough to just let him be a damn kid. I get it.

But it’s been hard. The reason these feelings have been triggered lately, is because of the awesome town soccer team he just joined. We have played 5 games so far, and they have been dominated in each outing thus far. Dominated. (They did tie one game, in which Greyson did not attend.) I also know I run the risk of offending other parents with kids on the team, and that would never be my goal (pun intended 🤓). These are my feelings, my perspectives, and I only have the best of intentions, as always.

Now with that said, I find extreme value in losing. In dealing with disappointment. I don’t think every kid should win, especially both of mine. The DNA that can be formed having to gut it out, tough through it, and never give up is more valuable than any other characteristics you are going to get from winning. That is what I desire for them most. (I also know the other side, as Grant is more gifted athletically, so I am always nervous about him being gracious, and grateful.)

To watch him not understand, not know, and not excel next to his peers (regardless of how little coaching, teaching, or practice has already been given) is extraordinarily painful to watch. Think what you will of me, but it sucks. It really. F’n. Sucks. It makes you want to quit. It makes you want to pull him out, and tell everyone to go piss off. Why? I don’t know! Guess that’s parenting.

In addition, he has been a defender every week, and although he has a few kicks here and there, for the most part he has been very ineffective. He is aware he is not helping a significant amount even though he really is trying. And he is also aware they are losing, and losing badly. Greyson coping with defeat, has not been a strength of his. It has been in his action plan/IEP for years.

Yet, there is our Gman. And he hasn’t walked off the field yet…

So we went to another game today, and the first quarter was status quo. The teams seemed a little more evenly matched, but the score was still 4-0 after the 1st (they play 4 quarters). Greyson definitely had a little more focus, and effort, but it was still the same.

I start shaking my head, thinking what can I do to help? What can I do to make sure he is growing, learning, and enjoying himself? How can I help him contribute so his teammates genuinely want him on the field? What?!?! (P.S. His teammates are absolutely outstanding!!!! They have done nothing but encourage, push, teach, and support him. I’m telling you what, they are a better kid than I believe I ever was. Kudos to them, and their parents. Very very nice…). My heart literally aches for him to make a play. For him to look over at us, and see our faces light up with excitement so he can know he is doing great! And this is different from praising him for his effort, he gets that. We are always cheering him on and telling him great job for never quitting!!! But disingenuous “great job(s)” make my skin crawl, even for a 7 year old. Kids know that too. At least I think so…

So coach switched it up, and puts him in more of a halfback role. Daring move by her, but probably a great idea, as the previous position wasn’t working so well.

All of sudden he is all over the field! A bit wild! A bit unorthodox! A bit of not following the rules (because he doesn’t know them)! But he is flying! He is helping! He is in it! It was a thing of beauty! I wouldn’t say he made any “plays”, and certainly was not close to scoring, but man oh man was he in it. Just running, and kicking, and participating. You could see it, clear as day. He was having a great time! He really was! So guess what?!?! So was I mother lover! Yeeeaaahhhh! That’s all. That’s all I wanted. I just wanted him to really be in it, if only for a moment. And man oh man, I really did drink the moment up.

This time in our lives, I’m calling “Goaling Pains”. Haha! Get it? Yeah, whatever. I’m a tool.

So, whats my point in all of this? Parenting is really hard. Really painful.

You need to be extremely patient, and let your kids earn their moments. If you do that, well, then you just earned yours too.

It isn’t easy. But you can do it. Together.

Just hang on…

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