We do strange things, as parents, to motivate our children. Some of us let the child lead it all and we follow, picking up pieces, discards, and maybe trophies. Some of us drag the child behind us, charging forward and willing them to follow. Most of us are some where in between, in a world that works for your family. To each their own.
My kids are all heavy in to sports/dance. Far more than I ever planned or, frankly, would like. It is a luxury, for sure, but one I encourage. But these are paths they are forging and so long as they do 3 things I will have their back and make it happen for them.
1. Show up.
2. Do the work.
3. Have fun.
Learning to persevere, be part of a team, that practice matters, a sense of accomplishment, the personal reward of a challenge achieved, of sheer joy. All those things are great and exactly what I want for my kids, any kids, in a sport they like. It isn't always sunshine and roses and medals and smiles. As a 10 year old some pretty tough lessons can come your way. This is precisely why I like sports. It isn't just about learning to lose graciously. Facing fears, pushing yourself more today than you did yesterday, finding the joy when the work is hard, overcoming the mental crap that clouds in to our heads. All of those things matter as much, if not more.
So my middle kid - the one we've called Evil Genius or more appropriately, Death Wish - has been diving for a couple of years. She trains with a wonderful group of kids and the amount she can push herself is shocking most days. Unfortunately, this past year was a rough one for her. She had an ugly couple of weeks and then the fear set in. Big ugly hands of fear pushing her shoulders to the ground and rooting her little feet. You may train as a team, but this is a solitary sport. Just you on the end of the board. It comes down to you making the move. She never not wanted to go to practice, but each day got more and more frustrating as the goblin took over and her joy dissipated. Her coach tried all the things, we tried all the things, even her friends tried all the things. At the end of the day, though, she had to recognize her physical skills to make it and find the mental strength.
And I, as a quilter, channeled everyone's frustration into a quilt. It's what we do. Frankly, I was at my wit's end and more than exasperated with my kid. I won't lie about that at all. But my awesome students one night reminded me to slow down, calm down. I gained perspective making this little quilt for Death Wish Arkison. And though I gave it to her after the season and there is so much more to the story, I want to think that it shows her that we've got her back, no matter what. And I know she has mine. That crazy kid.
If you want the rest of the story and more about this crazy Mama I plan on sharing it in my newsletter next week. Make sure you are signed up - scroll to the bottom of the page!