Monday, June 16, 2014

Focusing on What Matters

Per tradition, we hit the Strawberry Festival with our friends the Brinkruffs.  Since the boys only ate ice cream with whipped topping (sans strawberries), I think we could have hit the local Dairy Queen and saved on the parking cost (but where's the fun in that!).

Cooper participated in his first swim meet!  He certainly swam his little heart out, but we may need to work on his form.  He started each race with a jump akin to a leap off a pier.  (Cara said he looked like he belonged on the cover of a Nicholas Sparks book!)  Then, he did a combination aqua jog/paddle to the other side.  Michael Phelps can breathe a sigh of relief; Cooper may have a few years before he turns into a serious competitor.  

We picked up the big boys (and their laundry!) from camp.  Collin really missed his big brother!  

Enjoyed a Father's Day lunch with my Dad.  After lunch, I put Dad to work on some house repairs (just what he wanted to do on Father's Day!).  We snapped these shots to show Chris (who was at work in the ER) how HARD his father-in-law worked on the house projects.

The boys celebrated their Papa and Dad today.

Do you ever have those moments where you worry about your child's life.  What if he or she doesn't get asked to prom; invited into the sorority/fraternity; accepted into medical school; or placed on the traveling/academy/regional/advanced sports team.  And if all these things happen, will said child turn into a juvenile delinquent, high school drop out, substance abuser, or any other less than savory outcomes?  

I've had those moments.  

A few weeks ago, those thoughts raced through my mind.

It happened after my seven-year-old son was cut from a sports team.  Immediately, I was flooded with emotions.  I went from guilt (if only I had spent my nights kicking a ball with him in the backyard) to sadness (he'll miss all those opportunities) to anger (cutting a seven year old from a sports team is loony), and every emotion in between.

I finally landed on acceptance.  God has a plan for this child and that sports team doesn't fall into the plan right now.

But still....

I thought about sports and my child.  I wondered if he would excel at any sport.  Could I do something to help him?  Should I be working on skills, sportsmanship, effort, and determination?  And what if he didn't find a sport?  Was he destined to have an adolescent without friends, an outcast, loner, or deviant?

On Saturday, we invited a little boy from his class over for a play date.  This little boy is as sweet as pie, but faces many physical disabilities.  I watched my seven-year-old son interact with his friend.  He motioned his friend to the foosball table and each boy selected a side.  

My son clearly had the advantage.  He twirled the levers and catapulted the ball easily into the goal, over and over again.  His friend lacked the motor skills and strong reflexes to be a formidable opponent.  But each time my son made a goal, he announced to his friend, "You made one too!  Let's both get a point."  I watched his friends light up with the addition of each new goal.

Once ten points were made, my son exclaimed, "We won!"  Both boys grinned and high-fives were exchanged.

I watched the scene with tears in my eyes.  This son, the one who didn't make the sports team, I fretted over for days.  I had fixated so much on my son's lack of sports prowess, and how that would impact his life, that I lost sight of the things that really matter.  Raising a son who is kind and loving amounts to much more than grooming an athlete.  

Internally I raised my right hand and swore to worry only about the important stuff.

I promise to care more about whether I'm raising a son who loves than Lord, than one who wins the race.

I promise to care more about whether I'm raising a son who is kind to others, than one who earns a spot on the traveling team.

I promise to care more about whether my son loves his neighbors, than whether he earns a PR.

I promise to care more about whether my son spreads joy, than whether he earns a high school letter jacket.

I promise to care more about whether my son exhibits self control, than whether he makes the varsity team.  

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