Louisa had another soccer game yesterday. This time it was for real, and the parents were much more on edge. You could feel the tension between the three teams who played. Is it because we're military families and we're more competitive by nature? Or is it just because we're all trying so hard to live vicariously through our children?
Last Thursday I went to my MOPS meeting, and the Youth Minister of the church that it's in gave us a talk about raising our children. He said that he's a new parent and doesn't have all the answers yet himself, so right away I started to tune him out. You know what, I have an almost 10 year old, I don't need some guy who's only child isn't even 2 yet to tell me how to parent. But I did listen, and I did take most of what he said to heart. He told us that our job is not to re-live our lives through our children. And how many of us really do that? I'm willing to be *a lot*! The mom who wanted so badly to be on Homecoming court when she was in high school now pushes her daughter to be popular and make Homecoming court. Or the dad who misses his time in the Friday Night Lights pushes his son to be the best quarterback the school has ever seen. How often do you hear stories like that? I hear them quite often.
So then I start thinking, am I trying to live through Louisa? I was on winning teams when I was younger. I know what it feels like already. I know what it feels like to lose, but I also know it made me stronger. I don't feel that Louisa needs to win every game. And I really don't feel that I'm living through her experiences. She's a totally different person at 9 and 11/12 than I was. For starters, I'd *never* have played soccer! I was a basketball/softball person and that was it for me. I didn't like any other sports. Louisa loves to try it all. She loves dance, soccer, football, basketball, cheerleading. There's no stopping her.
Back to the parents yesterday. The tension... thick. The sideways glances... not friendly. The coaches... not on the same page.
We have two coaches, and you could tell they weren't on the same page. One coach was telling them to take the ball and run with it, while the other was telling them to pass it off. So the kids were confused, and didn't make any goals in either of their games. The guy who started out as the head coach, seems to have taken a back seat and let the other guy do the work. Not sure what's up, but they need to agree on play strategy.
I refuse to take these games too seriously. Louisa needs to know that we are supportive no matter what. Every time I felt my blood start to rise yesterday, I sat back and thought about my games as a child. Having an upset parent to deal with as well as upset team mates and coaches, was not something I would have enjoyed. Luckily for me, my parents were always supportive no matter what. I had my share of losing games, and still got ice cream afterward. Maybe that's why I'm not as competitive as the other parents. I wasn't raised in a competitive home.
Husband on the other hand... we're still working on him!