Tuesday, June 14, 2011

not quite the season she was hoping for

This girl. This girl is so hard on herself. She's just finishing up her first season in the slightly more competitive older girls softball league. It was not the best year for her. Teresa is a bursting at the seams with enthusiasm kind of girl...at home. At home, she concocts plays, shows, games and adventures ad infinitum. Outside of our home she is a much more subdued version of herself. She hesitates to ask for what she wants and is not aggressive in going after things. It takes a special kind of coach to draw her out and push her to take risks.

Unfortunately she did not have that kind of coach this year. Without the right kind of guidance, she was left to her own devices. About half way through the season and being stuck out in the outfield for every game, she told me she was bored and wanted to play in the infield. I told her she needed to tell her coach that. Teresa shook her head and asked me to ask her. I really wanted to but I knew she had to do it so I told her no. Throughout the rest of that game she'd look beseechingly over at me and I kept shaking my head. Finally after one last begging look and one last shake of my head, she got up and stood next to one of the coaches and quietly said something to her. The next inning my girl played second base. I couldn't have been more proud if she had hit a home run. Because in a way, she had. It is hard for her to stand up for herself and put herself at risk of being shot down. But she did it. She worked up the nerve and did it.

I'd love to say the season then took a turn for the best and she started hitting and fielding and her softball skills improved by leaps and bounds but alas...that was not the case. She plugged away game after game and I give her a lot of credit for not asking to give up entirely. She is saying she does not want to play next year. I'm trying to convince her to give it another shot. I'd hate for her to miss out on a sport she can play (with her asthma there aren't many she can play without inducing an asthma attack) just because she had a lackluster coach her first season in.

I tell her I'm so proud and she looks up through her lashes with a woebegone look on her face and asks "why? I'm not good." How do I convince her that the most valuable player isn't always the one with the most hits? How do I make sure I'm not pushing her into something she doesn't enjoy as opposed to encouraging her to give something another shot? Is there a difference?

sigh...once again I am reminded just how difficult parenting is.

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