It starts when they are born, how alert the baby in the first seconds of life or the belief that we saw them wave to us the first time you held them in your arms. That crazy mother’s pride that you have just delivered to the world the next great thinker. That crazy pride that at some point we all show. It of course is measured differently by all, to some every single thing you child does is amazing. Facebook posts are made hourly to announce each and every “new” moment. To others, they are so guarded there is really nothing that will spark that crazy mommy thing. To the rest of us it is everything in between,
Both of my girls are playing travel soccer this year and my husband is one of the coaches on the little ones team. Last week was the official opening week. Of course both games were at the same time so we were separated. I believe it was the first game of Meg’s that Frank had ever missed, (and thankfully so). My daughter is the primary goalkeeper for her team, a team who saw three of its top offensive players pulled up to another team in the off-season. The game itself was, well it was a catastrophe, a pure annihilation. I could take this moment to tell you that it was over 90 degrees and,…but I could not tell you anything both teams did not have happening to them. Our girls had lost by the 10 minute mark of the first half. The entire team looked like they had never played the game before (although this is the 3rd year of travel soccer), and if I am being truly honest my daughter was plan awful. She was lazy and half-hearted and when pulled from the goal at the half I was thrilled. The game was painful to watch.
We have spent many an hour sitting at extra training sessions with Meg to help her be the best keeper she can be as well as a good chunk of money on those sessions as well as protective gloves, jerseys etc. We of course understand that the ball has to get through the rest of the girls before it ever even reaches her position. We also fully understand that she can not score from her end of the field so if the team does not even take a shot she can not control that. What she can control is the effort she puts forth each and every time she takes the field, we expect that she gives it her all.
These are some of the things we discussed all week-long heading into week two. There was no yelling but the conversations were stern. My expectations are high for my children and I do everything I possibly can to help them to rise to those expectations. I believe that is a big part of what is wrong with the country right now, the lowering of expectations. We stressed to Megan that no one expects anything from her except to come out each week and play hard.
The girls took to the field this week under cloudy skies and rain expected. My girl was on! She stopped one and then a second and with each her confidence came back. The team fed off of her spark and even though the rains came and made the game a little messy the girls took away a well deserved 2-0 win. Seeing my children believe in themselves, seeing them rise to the challenge, seeing them fight, that is where I derive my pride. Megan was so happy. She walked off the field with her head help high and a smile a big as could be.
They will always have ups and downs. My job it to figure out how to help them reduce the distance between the two, to help them brush off and recover quickly from the lows and to always, always be strong enough to face the next challenge. I love my job!