Two recent endings have me feeling a bit deflated, though it’s been tough to figure out exactly why.
First, I’m giving up standing at work, or at least most of the time. I’d had great hopes for the benefits (health! vigor!), but after more than a year trying it, I think it’s mostly substituted back stuff for foot stuff. I have been worn out at the end of most days. It’s not working.
I wasn’t one of those “sitting is the new smoking” people, though I might have posted an article like that on Facebook. So I’m surprised to find myself blue at giving it up. People try stuff all the time, and if it doesn’t work they move on, right?
I guess I’m stubborn, or proud.
But it’s my reaction to the other resignation that really surprises me.
My 6-year-old son has been loving Soccer, and stayed with his team from the Spring for Fall. It was a twice-a-week chance to hang out with his buddies, and run around outside. Compared to last year, his focus and skill has been amazing. The “games” focus on fun and teamwork. The adults don’t even announce the score. For a sports-phobe like me, it seemed idyllically noncompetitive. (I admit I could sometimes barely follow what was supposed to be happening, and found my mind wandering.)
But 2 weeks ago, Jaden was in a mood and didn’t want to go to his game. These often pass, so I got him ready and to the field. But it lasted: he was a weepy mess. He wouldn’t play, and couldn’t recover himself. Then this past weekend, a similar story. Didn’t want to go, finally agreed to go, mopey and crying when we got there.
His coaches are wonderful, and they told him he can stay out of the game as long as he wants, and come in and play whenever he feels like it. They were gentle and supportive. But no dice, and we ended up leaving early.
Because of my own T-Ball trauma (I’m pretty sure I refused to touch the bat or do anything at practice, until my mother relented and brought me home), I’m keen not to push him into something he won’t enjoy. But now that it looks like we’re quitting for the session, I feel such a sense of loss.
Was I pinning my hopes on Jaden redeeming my awkward childhood? I would have said no, that I’m a proud, strong sissy who found my strengths and want my kids to be whoever they are. And I do. But this sense of loss and failure gives me the feeling I was hoping for a jock. (Of course compared to me, both my kids are fantastically athletic, so it’s relative.)
Fortunately, if there’s anyone in the universe who can understand not wanting to go play ball, it’s me. I’ve got to call on that super power and let my kid quit the team, if that’s what he wants. I’m sure he’ll redeem the shadow failures of my childhood another time, but for this week, we’re going sports conscientious objectors together.