Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Facing Reality

Since the weeks prior to Disneyworld, way back in April, Brayden has been in really one of his "happiest places" that I can recall him being since he was born. There was his birthday, Disneyworld, ending a "rockin' year" at Gilham with all the pomp and circumstance of being a fifth grader, and then, of course, all the freedom and fun that summer offers. Outside of the times that he is interacting (fighting) with his sister, life has been "good times" for our boy.

Today, however, revealed a kid I haven't seen in a while. Brayden was a "shell" all day long - a walking zombie, so tired, feeling a bit defeated, and I would dare to say, wondering if he'd made the right choice in regards to playing football.

I'm certainly not going to say "I told you so", but much of what we anticipated is coming to fruition. With any sort of "playing time favoritism" completely set aside (as we haven't even come close to playing games yet), Brayden has had the realization of 28 kids on the team and what that's really going to look like for playing time (it's the biggest team of all of them under the Sheldon Pop Warner umbrella). Tonight was his third consecutive 3 hour practice, and with temperatures in the nineties, it was a doozy for him. The coaches have really been emphasizing
"conditioning" this week, and despite my lofty hopes for Brayden to be self-disciplined enough to prepare in advance for this, he wasn't prepared - and he's exhausted.

John and I discussed all of this just now - and my discouragement about it all. I think he hears me and thinks I'm a "Told-You-S0-Debbie-Downer" about all of the football stuff. I don't think it has to do with my response after having just returned from witnessing practice, I think it's more my response to watching my son turn into someone I don't really recognize. When his "spark/smile" is gone, it makes me realize how much I take it for granted.

So, it all comes back to that age-old parenting dilemma of wanting to see your kids happy, but knowing that being perpetually "happy" isn't what develops them into responsible, compassionate, hard-working adults. The old adage of, "that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger" keeps coming back to me this week- as I fear it will over and over again in this upcoming new adventure of middle school for him this year.

Bye bye "happy times", we are entering into the days of "facing reality"........


sara said...

oh Stephie, my heart hurts with you. Having a son that is smaller (we are a bit vertically challenged in this fam) I went through this with him and football. I remember that "zombie" look so well. He wanted to quit and I wanted to let But we had a rule that if you chose to start something, you didn't have to do it the next time but you DID have to finish your commitment. I have to say, he learned some great lessons that season....many hard ones, but great none the less.

Hang in there, friend. parenting is hard on a mama's heart. praying for you!!!

cjoy said...

It's hard to watch our kids walk through the realities sometimes. I hope he finds some balance in this, and that you do, too.

Thank you for your sweet words on my blog....I do not know how to be anything but my bald-faced self, therefore I don't even share my blog with everyone I know. I feel blessed to have my handful of readers feel like friends - I love how supportive everyone is. Thank you!! We are shifting into a routine and sticking with homeschooling which we'll start in about a week.

By the way - I love your new blog look!! It's so pretty and open and easy to read....oh, and the fall colors call my name. I cannot wait for autumn to arrive in the deep south....short as it may be. ;D

StephieAnne said...

Thanks ladies! He has a night off tonight, and seemed to perk up remarkably just after practice last night knowing that the hottest day of the week, and perhaps even hardest/longest practice was past him. He'll stick it out, for sure, and if nothing else, learn some really great football skills this year (the coaching team has quite a depth of experience) - and he'll end up in really good shape! Thanks for letting me use you all as my "mommy therapy".....

Linda said...! It's so hard to see our kids struggle. I've watched Darryl go thru huge changes this summer. I know one thing have the Spirit living inside that sweet heart of yours and whatever is to come He will give you the proding or the peace that you need. Hang in there.