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Monday, September 06, 2010

a tale of parenting

A tale of two boys.  One tried out for Club Soccer at his university.  This is a step down from Varsity, but still represents the college in games and tournaments, wearing the jersey, competing against other schools.  30 new students competed for 5 spots on the established team.  So in addition to figuring out life and classes and schedules and requirements, this boy was going to try-outs.  And this boy made it, at 3:40 a.m. on Saturday morning he was informed he was in the club.  A good group of guys to relate to, physical exercise, the joy of the game, and a place to belong.  

The other boy tried out for soccer at his boarding school.  Over 80 students started the week of try-outs, and 45 were cut by the end of the week.  This boy loves soccer as much as his brother does.  He's the kind of kid who needs LONG periods of sleep on vacation to catch up, but he set his own alarm and went running in the early mornings to improve his fitness all during the break.  As the try-out week went on was glad he had, as he was more fit than many, and though he made some mistakes he felt confident that he was doing well.  By Saturday, after scrimmages, the captain of the varsity team even came to him to comment on how well he was playing, considering him a shoo-in for varsity.  But the same day that his brother made his club, this boy found his name posted on the JV list.  Better than nothing, and perhaps the best place for him to get playing time, but a huge let-down for him.  He felt betrayed and confused when looking at the kids who were chosen over him.  Most Juniors were pushed up to varsity except for him and a boy who was injured.  

A tale of two boys, one who emerged with strengthened confidence and a sense of accomplishment; one who emerged bruised in spirit and questioning why adults in his life seem to push him down.  And a tale of two parents who ache.  Ache for the stress the first boy is going to face with a heavy practice and class schedule, ache for the decisions he has to make to be in the group.  Ache for the sense of failure and confusion the second boy has, ache because we know he's a great player and kid, ache while telling him to humbly give his all for whatever team he's on, to not give up, to see God's merciful hand behind even what looks like a disappointing outcome.  

Hoping, believing, this tale ends in joy for both boys.


Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifer and Scott, You two are such good parents that it is a little daunting, maybe especially for the grandma-aged mom who sent her babies out into the neighborhood in the morning with the admonition, 'now play nicely' and thought the job was done. All kids have sorrows--two of my dear grandsons have had painful times starting with rejection letters this spring. Both are 'second' children following an I-can-do-it-sibling. But as one dad pointed out to soft-hearted grandma, Life does have pains. Important to decide how you want to deal with them. But my heart aches with wishing their dreams would come true, so I empathize, and God watches over them. I'm praying that for all four of our boys and for the team in Bundibugyo/Nyahuka with their challenges. God bless us all. Judy in HMB

Anonymous said...

tis a sad tale... God will lift up your head.

Lyds said...

Some encouragement for Caleb...When I was a Junior at Rift I had what sounds like almost the exact same experience! During try-outs I was told you are gonna make varsity and had everyone telling me not to worry about it, well that wasn't true and I was put on the JV team. A lot of people were surprised and I was devastated. But, all that to say it was probably the best thing for me and for sharpening my soccer skills. We scrimmaged Varsity all the time which made me a better player because I had to step up to their skill level. And I played almost the full time in every game, which would not have happened on the Varsity team.
Then my senior year I made Varsity and was voted one of the captains so it all played out wonderfully. I pray the same for Caleb!!