03
Apr
09

Just when you think you have them understood

I was sharing stories with a friend this week about our kids, mine is going to be 5, hers 4.  We were laughing at the things kids say. Recently my son told me he wanted to get my wife a gift. When I asked what he had in mind he said “something like a stick that changes your spit to water.” OK, lets go shopping.  Then he tells me how mom deserves something nice because she works so hard and loves us so much.  Just when I was thinking how silly, he hits me with the one that goes right to the heart.

My team kids have been pressured in the gym. Season is ending and we are approaching championships. They are doing lots of routines, lots of skill work, attention to detail and the demands we set on them, and they set on themselves, create a stress level for the kids. It’s part of being a trained athlete. We don’t let it get out of control and we believe that a little stress gets them ready for what the world will hold for them in the future, dealing with it constructively can only be a good lesson.  Anyway, the stress level is high.  This is the time the kids start getting more into their own heads assessing goals and pushing themselves. The social scene in the gym is put on a temporary hold… a little.  At least that’s what I expect at this time of year. Then I get an e mail from a team mom; she tells me how her daughter was so scared to join the group, especially at this time of year, knowing championships are just around the corner. Young girl, new team group, new coaches, new schedule, a little stressful? You bet.  The mom writes:  “(Her daughter) tells me how your current girls were so very nice, how they were extremely helpful in showing her the ropes for warm ups and such, and just generally making her feel very welcome and included, even taking the time to tell her “goodbye” amidst the typical end of workout chaos. She writes: When I picked her up, I heard a Level 7 and a Level 8 telling her what a great job she did, how she had done such an awesome job on a particular beam skill she was scared of but tried anyway These girls were so exuberant, so happy and encouraging as they chatted w/ her, and she was positively beaming.  She’s sound asleep now but still smiling.  Just when it may have been a little understood that they rightly may not be so social this week, they come back and astound me.  It’s not shocking that I have a wonderful team of warm and caring girls, it’s just sometimes we adults forget how wonderful kids really are. 

Kids get a bad wrap, people say how cruel they can be. But sometimes honesty can be rough, like my son’s classmates telling me I’m bald. Ouch, no wait a minute. I am. And I know that some kids are mean and thoughtless, but I like to believe they are the minority. What a great position I have, to work with so many great children. Thanks moms and dads.

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