Wednesday, August 11, 2010

10. set. hut.

My oldest son is 9. He is so smart, he's a great conversationalist, he has superior looks (he does favor me but I'm totally objective in this opinion) and he can be so sweet and charming at will. He is also a bit quirky and occasionally socially awkward, but his greatest flaw is that he is about as coordinated as the left testicle of an encephalitic monkey. Parenting him is equal parts challenging, humbling, rewarding and exhausting.

We have tried, to no avail, to get him into sports, ANY sport.
His baseball coach was visibly perturbed by the fact that was he had to share air with him (we found out definitively that there IS crying in baseball),
His tumbling coach gave up and let him run around the gym during practice,
His one (free trial) karate lesson ended with him saying "this blows" right in front of the sensai.
We did have some luck in basketball, but there was more disdain on the court when number 9 was out there.
Needless to say, I was more than taken aback when my husband asked him over dinner, one evening, if he wanted to sign up for football. Aside from the fact that we had "agreed" not to let the boys play full tackle football until junior high, I was concerned about the harmful effects of his multiple, failed attempts to participate in a pyhsical, team sport. Especially one in which paralysis and head injuries are listed among the injuries which may be sustained in playing said sport. BUT I gave in, as I often do because I do want him to be healthy and active. Another consideration is the fact that he is big for his age and as strong as an ox, or Lenny from Of Mice and Men (choose your own simile here).

Fast Forward to his first practice. He hustled like we have NEVER seen him hustle before. The hubs and I were both overjoyed that he seemed to have found a sport that he liked and was willing to put effort into. He left the field smiling and happy and was excited to go back the next day. We practically fell over ourselves giving each other high five's.
The second practice, well it was different. They had to wear full pads which meant that they would be tackling. I put my faith in the coaches to teach my son proper techniques and form before throwing him out there, but I was soon educated on the fact that "that isn't how it is done in football." Ummmm Yeah. He had NO IDEA what to do, and these coaches were yelling at him, using terminology he'd never heard before and threatening laps for insubordination. When the hubs tried to tell me that that is the way to teach, I unleashed (mildly) due to the fact that I'm a teacher and I know better even if I don't know shit about football.
Why I thought this group of coaches, whose collective IQ probably still borders on low average and who seem to be dealing with some leftover frustration for never making it past the JV team in high school, would take the time to actually coach is really just beyond me.
Needless to say he HATES football now, but I'm hesitant to let him quit. I mean, life is hard, sometimes things are challenging. Learning a little tenacity could go a long way in shaping him as a man, but then again so could quadriplegia.

3 comments:

McDowell Family said...

I've been patiently waiting for this post since you told me he was playing. You definitely delivered! Hope things turn around...and it not, write about it again!

m said...

nice steinbeck reference.

well, i'm glad he found a sport he can kind of get into, right?! you are right, though, that's definitely not the way to teach a game or make someone enjoy a game. make him stick it out, at least finish out the season or whatever? he's tough. HE CAN DO IT.

ps. heard he has a cell phone now...!

m said...

don't you think it's time to...oh, I don't know, HAVE ANOTHER POST??

(I can finally say this because I just made a post. ha ha!)