Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Lighter Load

A couple of days ago, I received a text asking if Lucas would try out for Minors baseball. We had registered him for farm (which has no tryouts and the same level he was at last year: kid pitch to coach pitch after 4 balls). I had never really considered minors as last year was his first year and I figured (in my totally inexpert opinion) that he needed more work on basic skills before moving to minors. I talked to his coach about it and he said to go ahead and try out for minors.

When I talked to Lucas about it, he was excited. He pitched last year and chances are he will not pitch at all in minors for a couple years. He ok'd that (pitching is the cool job for this age)! We (me and Daddy) are going into this assuming he probably won't make it but great experience and a good skills assessment. Lucas is going into it excited but lacking a little confidence, nervous and I think he is expecting to not make it too. We have told him to just go have fun and either way he will play with a great team.

Let me back up to something that seems unrelated, but it will all come together. A few weeks ago, a mom at school who I am friends with mentioned that her son "Jack" and Lucas were having issues at recess. It sounded really uncharacteristic of Lucas but after asking him about it, I realized he wasn't being the greatest friend/teammate on the soccer field. Lucas and I talked at length about it and it seemed to come from him taking soccer way too seriously at recess time and it seemed like a trap he was caught in and couldn't find his way out. He had been critical towards his friend and his friend was hurt. Jack's mom and I had talked before about the myriad of issues on the lunch soccer field (involving all the boys). You put 20 very athletic, competitive boys on a field together without a referee and there will be fireworks!

Lucas and I talked it all out and came to some strategies on how to help the situation. We talked every day after school. We talked about taking it less seriously and having fun. He is the co-captain of his team (as appointed by recess teacher in hopes of controlling the chaos they sometimes had previously) and we talked about what makes a good captain.

Things were going well but there were still a couple of instances where Lucas was unkind to this boy. It had been really bothering me a lot, this was not the kid I know. On his rec and indoor soccer team, he is so encouraging. does this all come together? Yesterday, with the tryouts looming, he came to me and said "Can you text Jack's mom and see if he will bring his mitt to school and help me get ready for tryouts"? My heart became lighter. When I texted her, I could tell that hers did too. With all that had been going on, I needed to see that he was hearing me. That he realized that he doesn't need to be the best at everything. That part of being a good friend and leader is to rely on your friends and counterparts too. Letting others help YOU is a precious gift you give to yourself and to others.

Amazing how he mended so much with such a small idea.

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