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Monday, August 01, 2005

Growing Up

I always knew that there would come a time when my children would be hurt, or disappointed and I would not be able to kiss the boo-boo away. What I wasn't prepared for, however, was how hurt and disappointed I would be on their behalf. How seeing one of them in pain would hurt me more than any I could feel on my own.

Saturday we got the phone call that my 10 year old son would be one of the players to sit out the championship baseball game. There are 14 kids on the team and at any one game three need to sit out. Usually due to illness or prior commitments it hasn't been too much of an issue. However, everyone wants to play in the final championship game. The coach of the All Star team was faced with the unenviable task of calling up three kids and letting them know that they would sit out.

When our phone rang at 4:00pm that night, Rob and I looked at each other and we knew. We had prepared our son for the possibility, because objectively speaking, he isn't one of the best on the All Star team.

When we gave the news to him he sobbed. He was crushed. As adults we have become desensitized to disappointments, we expect them many times and we have grown used to hiding our disappointments. We tell ourselves things like, "it's for the best", or "something better will come along". But at 10 years old, you don't have those defenses yet. His cries were so painful to hear that I felt like crying for the disappointed 10 year old that is still inside of me. My heart broke to see him cry and know that there was nothing I could do to make it better.

After I sympathized with him, I explained to him that how he chose to act now, in the face of his disappointment, was the true test of his character. He had the choice to go to the game and sulk around being angry. Or he could go to the game and support the team, of which he was an important part, and cheer for his fellow teammates.

"Having character sucks," he said.

"No, it's the building of character that sucks." I corrected.

He went to the game and behaved in a way that made us proud. I couldn't help but feel that he left a little bit of his boyhood behind and took a step closer to becoming a man.

I knew that one day it would happen. I just wish it didn't have to happen so damn soon.


Blogger halloweenlover said...

Now I'm sad too. Damnit. He is so sweet and brave, I can hardly stand it. Did his team win at least?

I don't know anything about little league, can't they sub kids in?

He is such a great kid. And building character DOES suck : )

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Kristi Vega said...

Oh, my goodness, my heart aches for him now too! And makes me imagine, what if that were my little boy? I once heard someone say that having a kid is like having your heart out of your body walking around, all vulnerable in the world.
But what great parents you are, and what a great kid you have, to deal with it the way you did.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

Poor kid. I take it the coach didn't take into account that your son was one of the few players who actually came to the practices and games?

11:30 AM  
Blogger TBG said...

I am sorry to hear that how sad for your son. But he did the right thing and was a great sport about it and that is an important lesson. They grow up way too fast.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Chris said...


This team is the All Star team which is made up of the best players from four different town teams. My son was the only player on the 10 yr old team from our town. They play other neighboring area teams for a championship.

Personally I think all the kids should have been allowed to play in the championship game. What difference does three more kids make, really?

Sadly, they lost the championship game. But they did get runner up trophies, which made him feel lots better.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

How heartbreaking! What a brave boy for going and cheering for his team though. I'm sure that was tough!

12:15 PM  
Anonymous lamsmom said...

The 10 year old in this 47 year old woman DID cry.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

That just really sucks. Our league requires ALL players to play at least 6 defensive outs, otherwise you need to forfeit the game. Marshall went through something similar this season when his coach told him that we wouldn't put him behind the plate anymore this season. All he wants is to play catcher, but that is the same position the coaches son wanted. Sometimes Coaches really SUCK!!

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Melissa L CT said...

That sucks and it's wrong and I also have a ten year old boy and it broke my heart! You did and said everything that I would have (and probably will do at some point) to your son. I so wish we could protect our children from all of life's hurts and disappointments but then they wouldn't grow and learn. Still, I feel your pain- Now, drink some wine and admire that 10yrolds. latest lego creation and all will be well. Melissa

3:58 PM  
Blogger Toni said...


Will you be my mommy?

I really, really love the way you handled this. And my heart broke for your boy as I read this. You must be so proud of him, though.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

This post made me cry! Building character does suck and I wish our children could go about it the "easy" way.

I am so sorry that your son has to sit out the game.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm sorry he was hurt but be happy he still feels like expressing his feelings in front of you and his dad, not all kids do.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Awww-that made me tear up. Sounds like he's a great kid and you and your husband are great parents.
Was it hard not to cry with him?

8:27 PM  
Blogger Sleeping Mommy said...

You handled that beautifully. I only hope I remember such words of wisdom when it's my children's turn to suffer disappointment like this.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous epiphany said...

That stinks! I'm sending him a big virtual hug, also I am glad to hear that he behaved in such an upstanding way. He is going to be a great young man as he grows up.

11:38 PM  
Blogger buffi said...

Oh, that just breaks my heart. I hope that I am able to handle those situations as gracefully.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Qalballah said...

I'm sad too - and I don't even like baseball.... or kids...


7:43 AM  
Blogger Valerie said...

I can only imagine how crushing it was for your son, to be asked to sit out. My ds is 9 and also was asked to play on an All Star team, meaning he is one of the best players on his regular knothole team. He would've been similarly crushed if he had been asked to sit out the game.

What makes me wonder, though, is why the kids weren't rotated. As far as I know, subbing or rotating players is NOT against little league or knothole rules (though I admit I don't know squat about AABC or select rules yet). I suppose winning is a big priority for many coaches, often at the expense of the kids.

We're just winding down the summer ball season for a couple of weeks before we dive into fall ball. There are practices to run to still, but at least no games until the end of this month. It will certainly be nice to relax for a change. :-)

8:18 AM  
Blogger nextcommercial said...

Awww. Poor little man!

But, you get to do this six more times...right? Poor you.

10:44 AM  
Blogger joy madison said...

this made be cry! My 6 y.o. daughter had a dream and she won't tell you about it....b/c I'll be mad. I told her I wouldn't be mad about a dream, but she still wouldn't tell me. Its a little too early for her to be keeping secrets from me, and it made me sad.

6:28 PM  
Blogger another lisa said...

we have been having these types of talks lately with our 14 year old... he often acts much younger than he is, (ie. picking on younger step-brother who is 8) and yet wants mroe privileges now that he is starting high school in september... I liked the way you framed it "you have a choice about how you will behave"... great job!

12:15 AM  
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4:04 PM  

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