I like to keep it light here, but yesterday was a day of conflict avoidance that left my stomach churning and me wondering if kids’ sports are worth all the drama that comes with them. So, I thought I’d just spew it all out here and hope desperately that somebody could offer some tips for coping.
We all love our kids and want them to do well, so I know every one of us has the best intentions. But yesterday was a bit trying for me because I just want everyone to get along and act in everyone’s best interests. In one of JT’s matches the parents were tough to listen to as they made various comments during the match preceding and during JT’s match with their son. I was hopeful that our experience with that set of parents was our last bit of ugliness for the day. But later in the day a parent inserted herself into JT’s match at a critical juncture and dictated the outcome of the match. It was really disheartening.
I am just as guilty as the next parent of being competitive and wanting my child to succeed, but I don’t want to sacrifice the values I’m trying to instill in them. There’s got to be a way to navigate these situations in a much more effective way than I’m doing — which isn’t effective at all. I am wondering how I talk to my kids about this type of ugliness and try to take the focus off of it and try to control how it affects me. Do I need to meditate between matches? Take a lap? Do I actually have to get in there and confront other parents? It hasn’t come to that, right?
I think we’ve got the sportsmanship topic covered since we continually discuss this with the kids. Of course that is difficult for kids to navigate, but they need to learn how to do so. It’s really important to keep the parents out of the mix so that they can understand how to resolve any disputes.
Please chime in. I need help, and I know you guys are full of knowledge.
Today we took Lexi to Panera with us and she scoured the sidewalk for foodstuffs while we ate our breakfast. Though she didn’t find any traditional breakfast items to enjoy, she helped herself to a discarded piece of gum and chewed that baby as if she’d been chewing gum for years. To say I was slightly disgusted is a bit of an understatement, but Matthew waded in and extracted it and, after Purelling his hands, returned to his breakfast with no signs of a gag reflex or even a hint of distaste. Curiously, Anna was very anxious to learn the flavor of the gum Lexi had chosen though none of the rest of us thought this was important. Thankfully, we were able to finish the rest of our breakfast without further incident. After breakfast, Matthew took Lexi to Deep Run Park while the kids had their tennis lessons. Apparently she was a little intimidated by all the dogs there as she kept her tail firmly planted between her legs during each encounter. She was so tired after the long session of exercise that she crawled into the backseat, turned her back on Matthew and fell into a nice, deep sleep on the way back to pick us up. She rested up during the midday hours as we had prepared her for our afternoon outing with some new canine friends who would introduce her to their local creek. She had a lot of fun with her new friends in and out of the creek.
In the creek:
Out of the creek (and Lexi jumps over her new friend at the end of this one):
To get rid of the tick hitchhikers that we knew had almost certainly grabbed a spot or two on their new host while Lexi played around this afternoon, we gave Lexi a bath when we got home. She didn’t like this water activity anywhere near as much as she liked the previous one.
As you can see, she was NOT pleased! She made one nice escape attempt but we quickly shut her down. Now, she’s all tucked up in her dog bed sleeping very soundly, and I don’t expect to see her raise her head for hours. It was the perfect dog day.
Today was one of those magical days. We spent 6 hours of it at Raintree where the kids played in the Richmond Jr. Circuit @ Raintree Swim & Racquet Club. Anna made it to the finals of the 8’s, and JT made it to the quarters of the 12’s. It was a personal best for both of them, and Anna even won a trophy for second place. Both played very well, and I’m just so proud of them. What a terrific day!!!
Lexi plays outstanding defense though she’s not so good with the pass. But if you need her to fetch up the ball, she is so on it.
Anna has a wonderfully quirky sense of humor, and we’re never sure what’s going on in that head of hers. Some of her latest gems:
Allergies? Sure! But colds/viruses? I didn’t think so. Yet, Anna’s got something, and I haven’t felt right for days. JT and Matthew have been sniffling and sneezing and having an argument with their bodies where they insist that breathing is not an optional activity, but their bodies aren’t so much with the breathing freely. Boo to all that! This is the time of the year I love, baby! I’m ready to get outside and play.
Dear colds and/or viruses and/or allergies,
Please leave us
at your earliest convenience now. We’ve got things to do, people to see, problems to solve, worlds to conquer.