Sometimes I wish I was more competitive. I wish that every time an obstacle presented itself, I would just go hard no matter what, not caring who or what is around me, and go for the win. If I could do that, than this past weekend would’ve been a no brainer. I’m almost positive that the fact that I never really played sports has a lot to do with why this past weekend was so hard. When I did play [bowling-cuz it IS a sport], I played just for fun. Simply put, just Livin’ la Vida Loca like my old friend Ricky Martin would’ve put it. I didn’t really care about the competition, I just played my part and stuck with it because of my teammates and the commitment I made to play (see Morgan Park High School yearbook 2000-2004 lol).
At the time I started writing this, it was 7am this past Friday morning and I was jotting down my thoughts. This blog stemmed from a moment when I was feeling really down and needed some advice, but didn’t know who to call or even if I should call someone, rather just figure it out myself. Maybe this was one of those decisions that I needed to make on my own. I was feeling like I did my son a real disservice by pulling him out of all of his sports activities (for the week) rather than push him to play harder in spite of the obstacles we were facing. A lot changed within a matter of days. It all started when our relentless opposing team came along and promised my son this “elaborate weekend”, even though he knew he probably couldn’t see it through he tried it anyway, completely throwing my son off focus and catching me off guard once again. Because I know how much my son loves his sports I felt trapped in the middle (this “elaborate weekend” included sports as well). This is not the first time this has happened, which is why I am so upset with myself that I fell for it again. See as a mother (probably more often than not, a single mother (yes there’s bias)) I often find myself trying to play both sides of the fence, probably in all reality afraid to stand firm on a decision that could end up backfiring on me or my son either way. So when I initially told my son he could attend this “elaborate weekend”, I had only partially taken into consideration all the backlash that would come from allowing him to do so, I just wanted him to have a great weekend. I also didn’t want to be the bad guy-I’m always the bad guy. I didn’t consider that my son would back out of his initial commitment, rather I thought that if I presented him a “meet me halfway” opportunity, he could attend one on Saturday and the other on Sunday, and every need would be met…#cueloudbackfiringexplosionsounds.
Turns out, my son chose to back out of his initial obligation completely and solely go for the “elaborate weekend” opportunity. I guess because I saw both as great opportunities it was only fair that we could find away to enjoy both, but my son…and the opposing team of course, did not see it that way. It was all or nothing. So I decided to do nothing. I mean either way, I’m the bad guy…right?! However, rather than put my foot down and tell my son to just focus on what he already had going on, I allowed the distracting opposition to frustrate me and pulled my son from everything. His head was already out of his commitments anyway. “We ain’t doing ish then” in the words of many a black mother. But was I really expecting him to focus on one thing or make a sound decision, “the right decision” when clearly my decision making was all over the place? I should’ve never even agreed with the opposer which is how I really felt. But I’m always trying to keep the peace (insert rolling eyes emoji here). I’m sure he did what most ten year old boys would do, yet and still because of my desire to try to avoid the competition or confrontation with the opposer rather than face the challenge head on, my son ended up upset and I ended up trying to fight against the guilt of feeling like the bad guy…and there I was, at the end of the weekend, sitting there with the guilt looking like the bad guy. So I let him attend what he was already committed to, but I still feel bad because I don’t know what lesson he got from all of this, and I probably won’t know until he’s in his late 20’s or early to mid 30’s wishing his life was different as a child…(stretching much?)…nah (see mommy/daddy issues).
At the end of the day, I wanted him to be happy, but also wanted him to learn some valuable lessons. I wanted him to learn to be committed to his team and teammates and to do what he said he was going to do (and I also wanted him to know it is not ok to watch mommy be bullied into making decisions by the opposing team). And yet I still don’t know if those were the lessons he got from all that so what was it all for? It took a lot to get him engaged because obviously his head was somewhere else, but lucky for him, he has a bit of grit and he pushed through. It just took so much to get to that point and at the end of it all, I still don’t know if he gets it; heck, I’m not sure if I do.
In a moment of self-reflection, I do realize one of two of my Achilles Heels came out this past weekend: my struggle with stern decision making when it comes to my kids (see previous/upcoming blog My Achilles Heel). I want so badly to make the right/best decisions when it comes to my children while trying to avoid the possibilities of them growing up to be bruised, bitter, and broken adults like all too many of us (I thought when you knew better you do better), that when I finally do make a [hard] decision, it usually comes in the form of an emotional reaction, stemming from the loads of pressure I feel when faced with making a decision that seems like it will work in the favor of everyone else but me and my children, and even though I feel like I’ve done the right thing, I still feel like I failed them anyway. I just wanted that weekend to not be a fight.
So as I mentioned earlier, I ended up letting him play what he already committed to(insert slap face emoji here). Today, on this Monday evening, I don’t even if I know if it was a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t know what he learned, I don’t know what I learned, all I know is it created a ball of emotions for us all and now we’re stuck trying to figure out the resolution. Now hear me clearly- I AM NOT trying to be my child’s friend, but what I am trying to do is build up good character in him, teach him to be well rounded, honoring commitments, loyalty, and consideration for others (things the world knows nothing about anymore), so I show him grace from time to time to give him an opportunity to understand why decisions are made the way they are. I do this because I know this opposing team is relentless, and I hate the fact that my children constantly have to suffer because of such. And as it stands today, on this Monday evening at 7:39pm, I still don’t know if I made the right decision because the opposing team is back at it again.