Wow, they are big. That was my first thought as we walked up to the field and saw the other team warming up. There was no way that these boys were the same age as our team. Our team sat on the bleachers, trying to find some shade before taking the field, watching the other team warm up. The look on their faces said it all. They were intimidated. They were playing the game out inside their heads and already anticipating defeat. This was not going to be easy for any of us – players, coaches, parents and fans all felt the tension in the air.
Have you ever tried to explain that little voice in your head to your child? It’s not an easy conversation. Trying to explain that you can decide when to listen to the voice and when to ignore it is a discussion that’s hard for most adults, much less an eight-year-old. I often wonder at what age does that little voice start? It’s one of those things that seems like it’s always been there. You can’t turn it off. The commentary is constant and endless - maybe that is the reason we so often assume the voice is right… Then when we assume the voice is right, it’s easy to believe the game is over before the first pitch has even been thrown. In this context and as a parent, it’s easy to see the flaw in this thinking. We tell the kids to go out, play hard and do their best. We tell them they can’t be defeated before the game has even started. But do we take our own advice? When we are in a situation we believe is unchangeable or beyond our control, do we quit before we give ourselves a chance to start?
Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be for our team that night, but they went out there, tried hard and made some great plays. It won't be a game they'll soon forget, but hopefully it will be one that they will learn from for years to come.
*Online book club starts 7/31, when we will begin discussing The Awakened Family by Shefali Tsabary. Check the Balanced Heart Moms Facebook page for details.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.