I’m borrowing from Glennon Doyle here…on a post she recently made about her family, only I’m going to adapt it for my family:
The Goodwins – we’re mostly good. Kind, caring, compassionate. And while I’ll try to focus on the being mostly good part, sometimes, we’re still bad.
On Saturday, our good, loving, kind, caring, compassionate son completely melted on the tee-ball field. Like, completely.
Wailing, kicking, glove throwing. His entire body flat out, screaming into the grass – and then screaming at me. And then at his Omi – my Mom.
While this kind of melt would’ve tested (and crushed) me anywhere at any time, it felt especially difficult at tee-ball, as I was just senselessly bragging to someone earlier in the week about my excellent coaching skills.
Worst part, it wasn’t just that “coach’s kid,” was melting- it was why coach’s kid was melting.
As one parent recently pointed out, Briggs is “Mr. Baseball.” And he is. During season our son wakes up between 6 and 6:30 every morning begging to turn on MLB Network’s Quickpitch. He absorbs every stat, play, and highlight of EVERY game played the night before. He has a favorite player on nearly every team. Whether the weather’s got us inside or outside, ask him what he wants to do from April – October and his answer is consistent: play ball.
“Mom, can you pitch to me?”
“Dad, it’s your turn to hit.”
“There’s a ghostman on second.”
“Nope, let’s watch the replay. He’s OUT!”
This is the constant loop of both real and imaginary play at home.
Play something this much. Love something this much. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get pretty good at it. And Briggs is getting pretty good. And, he thinks getting better means running the field…on his own.
No, it wasn’t that Briggs melted – it was why he melted that tore me up.
He melted because he wanted every ball, every play, every throw (and catch), to be his and his alone – and when I told him that ball on the other side of the field belonged to his teammates, he lost it.
Due to contagious melting, the game ended early and on the ride home, I tried my best to say something important. This is what I came up with:
Bud, that – on the field – that was bad. Pretty bad. And I get it. Mom is STILL working on being a good teammate, and still screwing it up. There are SO many times when I trick myself into thinking that it’s easier – even better – to do it all myself. That the rules don’t apply to me. That I’m smarter and quicker on my own. And I get so focused on wanting it done, and done exactly my way, that I totally miss what that does to everyone else around me. Briggsy, I promise you it’s better together. It is. And learning how to be a good – a really good – team player actually makes winning a heck of a lot easier. Plus, it’s way more fun. Because that – that wasn’t fun.
He sniffled in agreement.
I’m pretty sad and upset about the whole thing. And I really don’t like what you did, but I do still love you – so, what do you think we do next?
Then all on his own he came up with:
I want to call Omi and say sorry for yelling.
So, I gave him my phone and that’s exactly what he did.
We Goodwins, we’re mostly good. Sometimes bad. But, mostly good, and we never tire of trying again.