Posted on June 16, 2015
Number 2 plays on a great baseball team for a great coach. Thursday evening his coach asked if he would be willing to fill in on another team for a tournament over the weekend.” Why not?”, we all said. His coach’s son would be playing with him and it’s baseball. Baseball is fun.
Friday evening, we had some friends over who said the coach he would be playing for on the weekend was a jerk. Whatever, we said, we have had jerk coaches before. we can live through a weekend.
Saturday, Number 2 played 2 games. He had a couple of great at bats and some great catches in left field. We got in the car and he said, “I don’t want to go back tomorrow. The coach is a jerk.” I said, “You know, you’re tired, you were up late last night and early this morning; it’s 90 degrees, you’re hot, let’s rest a bit and see how you feel. You made a commitment.” (I’m big on commitments)
He decided to go play Sunday afternoon. I missed most of the first game for number 3’s game, but when I arrived I could tell Number 2 was VERY unhappy. He was sitting in the dugout looking miserable. He does not like his momma to come check on him, so I send daddy over. He was fine, just hated the coach. Dad asked if he was miserable and wanted to go home; he said he would think about it.
Immediately after Game 2, Number 2 came up to me and said he wanted to go home. And this is where I failed him…and myself. I tried to persuade him to stay. You made a commitment, this is the championship game, ignore the coach, blah blah blah…In my defense, I did not hear how truly obnoxious the coach was… I was dealing with Number 4 a lot and just kind of clueless I guess. Also, I didn’t want to put our coach, whom we all love, in an awkward situation. (I will say he was completely supportive of Number 2).
Number 2 is standing there with tears in his eyes, daddy comes up and says if you want to go, we will go. Thank God for daddy.
By the time I got the car, I realized how brave my son is. I would have NEVER walked away from that situation at 10 years old. In fact, I was probably closer to thirty before I cold stand up for myself at all!
This kid knows he should not be cursed at, yelled at, or berated. He knows it is not okay to be treated that way. Will his leaving change that coach’s behavior? Heck no! Will another boy on that team realize he shouldn’t be “coached” in that way too? I hope so, but it’s doubtful.
While him walking away might not change the world, or prevent coaches from being asses, he took a stand for himself. He will not let people treat him in a way that makes him feel badly about himself. He will not stay in a situation where he is miserable or “less than”. And his daddy and I will be right there to support him and take him home. (Yes, I have learned a valuable lesson too).
This may not have been a great baseball experience for Number 2 this weekend, but it was a great life lesson. And I am proud of him!