Welcome to My Life of Organized Chaos Where Crazy Eventually Catches up to you!

3/13/07

Hope for the best, prepare for anything

Ya know I've heard the phrase "they are new parents" and it just sounds to me like a gross misrepresentation.

I have Kyle who is 14; he was nearly 13 when I brought Casey into the world. Was I a NEW parent? I hardly felt like it. However, after dozens of conversations with my Mom (a Mother of four) and Jeff's Mom (a Mother of seven); I know better.

We're always NEW parents.

There are experiences I've had that can give me an inkling in to how to handle them with Casey. Like now we're weaning her off the bottle. She's 21 months and some people would say that's too old. Well my daughter was nearly a micro-preemie and her developmental delays along with severe acid reflux made feeding for a few months difficult. So taking her from something that took her so long to ENJOY has been difficult but it's a brand new experience to me.

Every situation is different because as my Mom said "Some kids are like night and day." Or as Jeff's Mom said "What worked with Greg didn't work with Teddy and what worked with Teddy SURE did NOT work for Jeff." Every situation is different because every KID is different.

Just because I've been doing this "Mom thing" for 14 years does not make me the authority on Kyle either because KIDS themselves can change. Every situation with my son is a new experience.

Take for instance his latest sports issue.

Kyle has played baseball since he was 6. This is his 9th baseball season. Out of those 9 years, kids in his area can play for the elite, "competitive" team for 7 of those, 2 of those as a "travel" team.

So far, Kyle has played for this elite team 6 of the 7 and 1 of the 2. He's shooting for 7 out of 7 and 2 for 2. Last year's tryouts started with 34 kids. After 3 tryout sessions they cut 14 kids. The remaining 20 kids had 4 more sessions when they were finally cut to 13 kids on the team. No one in my house (except the oblivious Casey) slept for weeks. Kyle was on edge, he was nervous, he was ready to play but afraid he wasn't one of the top kids and possibly "on the bubble". I remember very well the night of his last tryout. It was a Sunday evening and he came home looking a little green.

"Kyle, honey, you ok?"

"Coach said we'll hear Tuesday. I don't feel well."

"Oh Sweetie, it's ok. If you don't make this team then you can go and visit your Grandparents and camp up North, it'll be ok."

"No really Mom, I feel like I'm gonna throw up." He had the flu and was literally in bed for 2 days when the call came from the coach to tell us he'd made the team.

Tryouts for this year's team, HIS LAST YEAR, began Sunday night. Again I sent him off to the high school wishing him luck.

He came home with a very somber look on his face. "Bubba?"

"Well there were 20 kids but 16 of them are all pretty good. I heard one coach say they might take 14. So I guess my chances are ok but we'll see." I could tell by the look in his eyes that any leg-up he thought he had by playing last year wasn't going to matter. They have 16 kids that are pretty good. That's still a chance he could be one of the 2 that get cut. I could see the look of fear and wonder of what might happen for his summer if he doesn't get picked. Now I realize that his life is not going to be made or broke by whether or not he makes this team but THIS is what HE wants and as his parent, well it's my job to help him have it. Even he doesn't get it; it's my job to make it ok.

"Honey, I have to assume with 20 kids, they are just going to have a few sessions and make one cut, right?"

"I don't know. Coach just said with the exception of one kid we all tried out last year so we knew the drill and that our 2nd tryout would be Tuesday night at 5:30pm."

"Ok, well the good news then is maybe by this weekend you'll be done trying out and you'll know by Tues or so."

"I'm worried Mom."

"I know honey, I know."

"No really, Zack ----- showed up from St. John. He shouldn't be allowed to try out, they have a team there. Little League rules say if you don't have a team in your town you can play with a town that does but his town HAS a team. If he makes the team and I don't, I'm gonna be so mad cuz that's not fair."

I tried for 15 minutes to reassure him. I didn't try and reassure him that he'd make the team. I merely tried to reassure him that no matter what happened; it would be ok. No matter what happened he'd still play baseball this summer for his other team. No matter what; he was still a great ball player. No matter what; the kids he's played with would still be his friends, even if he wasn't on the team.

Nothing I said comforted him. What am I NEW? Of course I am.

This is something he's experienced before and certainly will not be the last time we're gonna be in this situation but damn; did I feel helpless.

I started to think of all the times you try and protect your kids.
The times you have no control over the outcomes for them.
The times you give them all the best tools and send them on their way.
The things we want them to learn but the heartbreak we wish they didn't have to face.
The things you don't want handed to them so they can learn for themselves.
The triumphs that feel so wonderful because they had to work SO hard for it.

Some people say hope for the best but prepare for the worst. There is no real preparation in parenting. You can stock pile baby items, you can read books and attend classes but nothing can prepare you for the growth and changes they will endure.

All you can do really is hope for the best.

12 Comments:

Blogger Dawn~a~Bon said...

If I'm ever lucky enough to have kids, I hope I'm as smart a mom as you.

:o)

March 13, 2007 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger Alpha Dude 1.5 said...

Based on Heart alone - I am pulling for Kyle. That's the kind of guy I would want on my team.

In my opinion - Talent without Heart, is wasted. Your kid's got both!

March 13, 2007 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Amy W said...

You couldn't have said it better, just hope for the best.

And good luck to your son. And great job on no bottles at bedtime!

March 13, 2007 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger frannie said...

i am so nervous for him... that post brought back all my anxiety I had with my own try outs... I swear my palms are sweaty!

March 13, 2007 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Catwoman said...

Just reading that put me on edge! That's so hard! I can't imagine having to deal with this, but I know that with my boy I probably will have to, whether he's into baseball, soccer or event debating!

I hope I'm half as great of a mom as you when I get to that point.

March 13, 2007 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

You are so right! We are never prepared, we just have to hope that we do it right.

Good luck tonight Kyle!

March 13, 2007 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger SJ said...

I will be hoping for the best right along with you, I can remember my days of softball and volleyball tryouts and hoping I'd made the cut....it's tough, but he's learning a lot about life in the process.

And you are right - kids are totally different creatures and what you do with one doesn't always work with the other. I know! I live this every day....

March 13, 2007 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Kellie said...

Kyle DOES have both talent and heart as Alpha Dude says. :) I'll be doing whatever dance I need to do for him to make the team.

March 13, 2007 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger That Chick Over There said...

You do the best you can and that's all you can do. I don't worry much about Kyle either, because I know his momma.
:)

March 13, 2007 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Bethany said...

Good Luck, Kyle!


Tell Zack to get his ass back to his own town!

March 13, 2007 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Wow...that should be part of the instruction manual our kids -should- come with. How often we feel inadequate and think we should have been prepared...we should have anticipated.

Thanks for reminding me of something I feel like I knew, but am not sure I ever consciously realized.

March 13, 2007 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger Emma in Canada said...

I hope it all went well for Kyle. My kids haven't played rep sports, the idea of trying out and not making it kills me. We do community league where everyone plays no matter how good or bad. Taylor will be playing for soccer for the first time in 7 years. Sort of odd since this is the age most girls start quitting sports.

Just to reiterate what everyone else said...I too think you are a great mom.

March 14, 2007 at 12:28 AM  

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