Letting the Ball Fall to the Ground

I suppose that in the case of most sports, one is supposed to hold on to the ball. Football, basketball, baseball - catching and holding on (at least for a little bit) is very crucial to how all of these sports are played. The ball is important.

I've been thinking about this metaphor a lot lately in terms of the boys and sports. Anyone who read my posts from this past spring knows that we had some trying sports times when we first came to Fresno. Both boys went though sporting seasons that all but crushed their sporting self-confidence. I came out of the seasons disappointed and a more than a little bitter that what I thought would be a great transitioning aid to their move to California turned out to be more harmful than good.

It's just that before we moved (and the first few weeks during our time here) I pictured their sports teams a vehicle of sorts - one that would bring them new friends and acquaintances, feelings of success in the their new town. But it wasn't that way at all.

With the fall came new sports. I posted several times in September about soccer with Jacob, and how I bribed him to go to a new team after his school team didn't have enough players. How the bribe was successful and how I thought he had a found a team where he could really feel comfortable. I didn't write about the rest of the story, though.

To make a long story short, it didn't work out. He practiced with this second team for two weeks, and every practice I would check with the coaches, saying, "You've got his name, right? You know he's signed up and all?" They said, "Yes, we've got him. He's good." But when it came time to pass out the uniforms for the first game, they didn't have him. His name was not on the list, and he stood and watched as the other boys got their uniforms and his name wasn't called. Unfortunately, other new players had also come to the most recent practices as well, and by then they had too many to put on the team.

There was a chance that he could play on that school's B team, but if you know anything about Jacob, starting over with a new team is just not his thing. Plus, the B team coach told me he didn't even know if Jacob could actually play on his team, because he thought maybe he was supposed to give preference to the boys from his school. The result of this was me with my "Whatever" coffee mug in hand, considering trying to fight to get him on the B team. However, it seemed an uphill battle, he was extremely resistant to the idea, and after all of this I was just weary of it all.

In the end, I just let it go. I stopped trying to push the symbolic basketball of "hope and adjustment" to Jacob and I just let it fall to the floor. I took a deep breath and realized that I was the one pasting all of the "new-town-adjustment " stickers onto the ball. Because the truth is that Jacob is happy. He is adjusting well. He doesn't seem to need those teams at all. In fact, they probably did more harm to his adjustment than good, but who was to know that when we started?

That ball has now rolled off in the corner of our messy garage somewhere. The "hopes and dreams" stickers that I had glued on it have fallen off and lie on the ground beside it. I am trying (even today as Jericho heads off to school basketball practice) to leave it there. If the ball gets picked up again, it will be because the boys pick it up, and they can do with it as they wish. I will try and keep my expectations and hopes off of it.

I'll do my best just sit back and watch, and cheer when I can.

picture by Lst1984 (Creative Commons License: Attribution, Non-Commercial)

Open on Flickr

Barbara  – (17 November 2009 at 14:38)  

Since I think you're like me in many ways, you might want to keep this article bookmarked for when you have to remind yourself again (and maybe more than once again) about this good conclusion you came to. Love you! Mom

Sarah  – (19 November 2009 at 11:45)  

Well said, beautifully written, and hard to live out. Indeed, who ever knows what is right when trying to help our kids fit in to a new spot? I think you have gained much wisdom through the struggles.

Post a Comment

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP