Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Baseball Season Once Again

This year we have our 3 older boys on separate little league baseball teams.  Our 11 year old made it into Majors, putting a lot of effort and stress on himself during the tryouts and we are thankful that he is on a very good team.  As my wife and I attend all (ok, most) of the baseball games, it is a constant reminder that for boys, athletics is still one of the major sources of self-esteem.  When they do well, they are happy and confident, and when they don't, they are distraught and self-doubting.  I wish this was not the case, but sadly in our society their peers, the community of parents (not all, but most), and even dad (yes, me) sometimes gets so wrapped up into doing well, that we forget that it should be for the love of the game and to have fun.  The boys realize this and are so stressed, when they are not doing well or in a hitting slump.  It is so important for my wife and I to stay positive and encouraging, while not down playing the importance of sports to our growing boys.

At their age, I was a skinny boy and young man, so I was mostly engaged in cross country running and tennis.  I often tell my boys that they are so much better at sports than I was.  It doesn't seem to help much, when they mess up.  Who wants to hear that they are much better than their middle-aged dad, when they just want to be a good player among their friends now.  Oh well.  My wife and I will continue to help, make a lot of mistakes in how we communicate and nurture them through childhood, but hopefully we will all emerge at the other end with a strong relationship and our boys knowing that "whatever happens in life, you can always come home to people who will love you for being you."

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