Friday, September 21, 2007

"When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best"

"So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up) by itself is destitute of power- inoperative, dead." James 2:17 Ampl.

By faith, I have not gone to one of my son's soccer games, yet, this fall. Let me explain.

I come from a family of teachers and coaches, and it's really almost an illness we have! You can't go anywhere, to any family gathering or impromptu get together, without getting some kind of mini lecture or teaching. My father is one of the biggest culprits- an excellent school teacher and coach for over 30 years, a ball room dance teacher still, and a lousy listener. (Sorry, Dad- but you know that you are!) But I've got the "instructional" disease as well. At least my teenage son thinks so.

I can't even mention to him "you might want to use the towel to actually dry yourself" as he walks dripping, pouring rain almost, into his bedroom from the bathroom with the towel tied around his waist- or he'll give me this look, eyebrow raised, as if to say "Mom,... you're starting again!"

Starting what? That lecturing thing. Oh, that.

So I'm removing myself from places where I would gain too much info that would cause me to lecture, teach or coach my son in any area that he's already had enough of "it". I am not going to his soccer games right now. After 12 years of me cheering from the sidelines and anxiously watching to see when he gets put in- I am, instead, at home, during his game times. And before you throw the "bad mother" dart at me, let me tell you my son is quite happy about our arrangement.

It's not that I was an obscene fan of his. I never screamed ridiculously or yelled at the refs(although my husband and I used to have a friend there, a parent, who we did have to restrain!). My son loved hearing me cheer him on. It's just that when he didn't get played or when he left the game at the end, angry or frustrated, I would be too keyed in to how he was feeling. I saw it all happen. And my husband, (another coach/teacher/former pastor problem) was already pointing out what could have been done differently. It was all too much. Too much caring.(Remember that problem we discussed?)

So now when my son comes home from a game, there I am in the kitchen, humming a tune off-key, cooking up a big, hot meal (and hiding dirty pots and pans in the oven for my husband to clean later). I am ready and interested in hearing about the game- but not manically involved. I am able to handle whatever mood my son is in and I do not add any fat to the fire. The four of us sit down to eat, and I listen to what my son chooses to share with me- without taking on the pain or frustration of what he feels.

I'm trying to listen as if I was...a student, learning the secrets to a happy, healthy life. And one of the secrets is a "Hallmark" one. You know, "when you care enough to send the very best"? That one.

So for me, as far as my son and soccer, when I care enough to send the very best, I send my love and prayers to the soccer field- and keep my busy little body at home.

By Faith.


Angie said...

Oh Lauren, I'm thinking we're kindred spirits. I suffer from the same thing. Did I tell you I'm a teacher? I've decided for me that it boils down to a controlling nature and downright ugly pride that causes me to think I have all the answers. Lord, help us! I enjoyed your article, esp the cute tidbit about singing off-key...such personal touches which brings your writing to life.

Anonymous said...

I can SO VERY MUCH RELATE to this post! I'm not quite where you are yet, still finding myself (sometimes cheering but often cringing) at games my sons play in....Thank you for the wisdom and insight and I pray for the strength "to send the very best" to my boys!