Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Personal Reflection

We always say as parents that we want our kids to be happy. I am not sure that we do want our kids to be happy. We certainly do not want our kids to be miserable, and we hate to see them hurt or upset, but in the end we sort of want to see them successful, and successful in a way that WE imagine that WE would like to be successful. The point of this story - my son announced the end of his baseball career yesterday. He hit .400 as the left fielder for the junior varsity this year, and he probably played 85% of the available innings. He tried out for the summer baseball "feeder team" to the varsity and sat down and talked to the varsity coach yesterday to discuss what his future was in the baseball program. The coach told him he had made the team and what he was good at and what he wasn't good at, and then he asked my son, "Are you passionate about baseball? Is it something you love?" My son saw his opening and replied - "Coach, my dream is not to be a varsity baseball player. I don't really get excited about playing baseball. Next year I will just try out for the Center Stage musical production and not play baseball. So if someone wants my spot on the summer team, you should probably give it to them." The Coach thanked him for his honesty and said he had a daughter who quit volleyball for musical interests and he would be giving my boy's spot to another kid. Now, I cannot say I was THAT surprised by my son's decision, just by the timing of it. He had a great year playing baseball - he was successful and played a lot. I could see that they were grooming him to become the varsity left fielder. But he never loved baseball. I love baseball. I love watching him play baseball. But he does not love it. He does not spring out of bed to play. He does not laugh and chuckle when he is going to a game. He does not go early or stay late. He loves the theatre and singing and dancing. He loves the people and how they treat him and each other. He goes early, stays late, and even attends events he isn't in. It killed him to play baseball during this year's Center Stage production, so he went and worked backstage (even sneaking in to one dance number). So - he will be happier. But will Dad be happier? Eventually, probably yes. Today and for a while, no. Unlikely. When you watch that little kid play baseball at age 18 months and swing that plastic bat left handed because his sister does, you always believe he will be a varsity baseball player. And it hurts even more when you see that he actually would have been a varsity baseball player....but he doesn't want to be. In a way it is like when things go bad with your girlfriend and you know a breakup is coming in a week or two - but you just don't want to believe it. Then it comes. Eventually everything will be way better and everyone way better off. But that first few days you cannot help but sit there and say, "What the hell just happened?" Oh well....just some personal reflection...

1 comment:

Al Swearengen said...

Tough luck. I guess the moral of the story is you should have forced the boy to play baseball.