I had so many titles for this post so please pick one:
Life is hard
Life is unfair
Sometimes love is all that a parent can give
Ohh a lesson well learned
etc etc etc
So let’s get back to my post. Zoe has played netball in Grade 1 and 2 – she absolutely loves it and her best friend play it as well.
So the netball season started last week and my heart sank into my shoes. Firstly there were about 24 little girls for the 14 spots available and the teacher that was coaching them… Well let’s just say that I have had an issue with her last year when she coached the cross country but was sitting in the shade pinning wedding ideas on Pinterest and just telling the kids to run around the school for an hour. So the cards were stacked against poor old Zoe from the beginning.
And yesterday they gave out the names of the girls selected and Zoe wasn’t one of them. Zoe only had playtime of about 8 minutes in the 3 days that they looked at the kids to decide who is in the team, so not really very fair. Especially if you take in account that the coach were leaning against a pole checking her phone, her watch and the clouds. So the chances of her actually seeing Zoe do anything was almost zero.
So in my heart of hearts I knew that my poor kid will be booted. Look I know she is not the best player and she likes to dance around the pole when she gets bored BUT she has been committed for the past 2 years and some of the kids that were chosen never played before and had an injured finger or an injured leg, so they couldn’t play but they were chosen – so unfair!!!
She was in tears and I was fuming, but I decided to let it go. I’m not going to be one of those parents that demand that my child should be in the team. I did have a few regrets for not bribing the teacher with a few blue notes :-). But mostly I blamed myself – I should’ve played with Zoe more, I should’ve raised her to fight harder and be more aggressive, she should’ve be taller, I should’ve instilled a competitive edge in her etc etc. Then I planned a revolt – if the two best players (Zoe’s best friend and her twin sister) say they won’t play if Zoe doesn’t play Zoe will be chosen.
But I realised that it is all quite immature and maybe this is the ideal time to teach Zoe a life lesson about working hard. So I contacted a girl that is giving extra sports lessons to kids. They break it up between athletics, netball, hockey and general skills and you can choose all 4 or a minimum of 2. The people that are involved are all exceptional sports people and they all used to be teachers so they love kids. So I gave Zoe the option to attend these classes and to train hard and try out again next year if she wants to.
She immediately chose to do it and we are going to work hard at all the disciplines this year and try out for netball again next year. And Zoe has already decided to try out every year until she gets a place in the team again.
I didn’t go running last night but just spend time with Zoe, talking, cuddling or just being together. And when I asked her later in the evening if she is fine she said that she is fine because it doesn’t help to be upset about it forever and she can try again next year. She did add that she is still angry at the teacher and she wish she can take a horse to the teacher and get the horse to kick her – I know, I know – violence etc but she has to express her feelings.
So Zoe is ok, but me? Not so much, every time I envision her running towards me after the announcement with tears streaming down her face and those big blue eyes swimming in tears and her crawling into my lap trying to fold those long legs and arms into me, I start crying again. And to see all the other mom’s being so upset on our behalf and all the girls trying to console Zoe and telling her she deserved to be part of the team – it breaks my heart.
So parenting is hard and learning lessons in life is even harder and sometimes it is all so cruel and unfair but I do believe it will make us stronger and better people.