Helping my son become a good man and a great goalie is teaching me much about who I am and what I believe in. I am also learning that being a parent is a dance. You have to let your children experience life, you have to stand back without swooping in, but most importantly a good parent will encourage and build. Why encourage and build? Because the tearing down and not feeling so good about themselves doesn’t need to be taught. It is deeply rooted in all of us.
My son had a tough game on Saturday. It was his second of the season. The first one ending in a 4-4 tie, so things were looking promising. But his old habits crept up when his own player scored on him and that goal was followed up with another and another. It didn’t help that one of our players broke his ankle and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The goals kept coming and coming, but I am super proud of my son. In the second period with the game out of hand 5-0 he was asked if he wanted to come out. With tears in his eyes, he said no. He was going to stick it out.
Let me tell you, that was a really really, really long third period but two goals later and a most pleasant sound of the buzzer and it was all over.
That’s when I decided for him to be him. He didn’t need advice. He needed to forget and get distracted by candy and other sweet things. The next day however we had a few chats about what happened. How good a loss like this can be if he goes and works hard on becoming a better goalie.
I am sharing all this because the experience was not only great for him but amazing for me. I am learning to let go of who I am and by parenting my son, I am in turn becoming a more complete human being.
I find human connections amazing. Nothing else that we do has the opportunity not only to build up two people to be better than they could on their own, but the effect multiplies as they go out and influence the world around them.
I sincerely hope there aren’t many games like this one, but even if there are, no matter. We’re in this together no matter what.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@chrisliverani