Thursday, July 05, 2007

Life Lessons from Little League!

I had begun drafting a new blog entry entitled “Why I Hate Little League” when the events of the last few days caused me to pause and re-think my position. The original post summarized my feelings about my youngest sons little league experience this summer. He has been in, for lack of a better word, a batting slump since about the second game of the season. It has been discouraging for him, but he has never given up and has been at every game with an amazingly positive attitude. I, on the other hand, sit on the sidelines frustrated—upset at the coach for his lack of guidance and encouragement—upset with our circumstances because Chandler doesn’t have a father at home to help him with his game and just down-right ticked off at the fact that if Chandler doesn’t get to play much, how the heck is he supposed to improve? My oldest assures me this is exactly why “mommies should stay out of baseball—they just don’t get it”.

This past week my youngest son played in a baseball tournament. He only played 3 or 4 innings the entire week. I could tell he was down on himself before Friday’s game. Once he arrived at the game he showed true panache and cheered his team on. The team played well and ended up playing in the consolation game for third place. When the team began to win—my son’s lack of confidence seemed to fade as he placed all of his energy into cheering on his teammates. Though I was fuming on the sidelines at the injustice of the whole situation, I noticed his confidence actually increasing and he wasn’t even playing. How could that be? His attitude is a prime example that, for some reason, for boys—it is all about winning---to moms---it is about making sure our kids have a sense of self-worth. But what mommies don’t seem to get is that boys don’t obtain their self-esteem through being coddled or being “put in” just because—they get an amazing about of confidence simply being a part of a team.

Fast forward to Tuesday night’s game—two team members were unable to attend the game so Chandler was put in from the beginning of the game. When it came time for his first at bat---he straddled the plate with more confidence than I had seen in a long time. At the crack of his bat he hit a single RBI—the crowd roared—his teammates cheered as he ran to first base. He went three for four that evening and the coach awarded him the “game ball”. He was beaming with pride. On the ride home he called his grandparents, his uncle and my best friend’s husband to share his victory. Who knows if he will ever make another hit again this season, but he had his time in the spotlight; his moment of glory and the opportunity to feel a great sense of accomplishment that comes from truly doing a good job and being acknowledged for it.

I often learn from my children. They are not only a constant source of blessing, but also a basis of strength along the way. When I am in situations where I have a tendency to become frustrated, even discouraged, I need to remember the following lessons I have learned from my son this day:

  • Attitude is a big part of being content where you are.
  • Cheering on others can be as rewarding as succeeding yourself.
  • Patience and persistence are the qualities to overcome a "slump".
  • Sharing accomplishment with those you love simply makes the victory sweeter.
  • Mommies can "get it"--- given time and swift kick in the "life lesson" pants.

This I know for sure.

1 comments:

Pentha said...

* Attitude is a big part of being content where you are.
* Cheering on others can be as rewarding as succeeding yourself.
* Patience and persistence are the qualities to overcome a "slump."
* Sharing accomplishment with those you love simply makes the victory sweeter.
* Mommies
[and others?] can "get it"--- given time and a swift kick in the "life lesson" pants.

Hmmmmmm.... sounds a lot like widowhood, if you ask me.