Thursday, July 24, 2014

Guts

My kids have guts. They are brave. They have confidence. They are strong in who they are and what they want to do.

I hope they never lose that. 

Last night as I was driving to yet another baseball game Tommy informed me that coach was going to let him try pitching this game. Immediately I went into panic mode. Tommy is already the youngest on his "advanced" team and the team already has 3 very good pitchers. Tommy has NEVER pitched before nor has he practiced for it very much. What if he fails? Will that hurt his confidence? What if his team isn't supportive of his effort? What if the parents get mad? What if? What if? What if????

Of course I didn't voice my concern that way. Instead I asked him why he wanted to switch from 2nd base. "You're so good on second!" I complimented him. He didn't take the bait. He wanted to try pitching. "But you haven't really practiced pitching, hon." I warned. He told me he had practiced (when?) and coach said he could. That was the end of that conversation.

I dropped Tommy off at his pregame practice and then ran back to another ballpark to watch the remainder of Ben's baseball game. When Ben's game wrapped up we all jumped in the van and headed over to Tommy's game. 

Right as we were walking up to the ballpark Tommy was taking the field. As the pitcher. 

"Umm... Tommy's pitching." Todd said to me. 

"He told me he was going to pitch. Man, that kid has guts." I responded.

Todd walked up to the fence to shout encouragement to Tommy. Joey perched himself on top of the slide to get an optimal view and shouted "atta boy"s at him for every throw. Me? I think I held my breath the entire time Tommy pitched.  
Tommy did well. He walked a few of the batters but he didn't get flustered and proceeded to strike out two batters in a row and then caught a fly ball for the third out.
As Tommy hustled off the field I ran over to the bench.

"Woah. Where did that come from, Tommy? Good job!" I congratulated him.

"See! I told you I wanted to pitch!" Tommy said with pride.

"You were right! You definitely have more guts than I ever did when I was a kid. I'm impressed! Good for you!" I admitted.

Tommy, still small enough to hug me around the waist, squeezed me, smiled, grabbed his bat and took off to practice his swing.

As I walked back to my seat I thought about his courage. All of my kids' courage. How confident they are. How sure they are of themselves. Always willing to try new things. No fear. No worries about all eyes being on them. And I thought about my role in that. In supporting that. How careful I have to be not to put my fears onto them. How I have to applaud fearlessly whenever they want to step up, not come up with reasons they might not want to do it. I always tell my kids not to worry about failure (the biggest failure is not trying at all), but do I really support that as much as I should? Am I backing my words up with actions?

If I'm honest I was a little disappointed in myself last night. I was being a coward. And for no reason. I was so worried about my tender kids when they really are much stronger than I.

Tommy tried pitching.
Joey sings in front of the whole school.
Ben stands up to a bully on the playground.
Grace volunteers to dance in front of her class.

My kids are brave. They are confident. They are strong.

I could learn a thing or two from them.

13 comments:

dbinak said...

I think their confidence shows a lot of your parenting style, and how you encourage them to try new things. Leave it to kids to always "up" us one tho.

Tabor said...

I feel the same way about my husband and my grandchildren. I am always making excuses why I cannot, when I should just be like them and dance like no one is watching!

betty said...

WTG to Tommy! It is hard to balance our fears/insecurities not to rub them on our kids, but it seems like you are doing a good job raising them to be confident!!!

betty

Hilary said...

Don't underestimate the contribution that you and Todd had/have in producing kidlets who are so confident. It's difficult but important to keep those fears in check.. I know that because I'm much like you. But it's far better to be there soothing them IF they run into difficulty than to introduce the concept of potential failure before they even get started. Good for your kids. And good for you and Tood.

Hilary said...

And by "Tood," I of course meant Todd. ;)

Peruby said...

Hilary - I think you just gave Kat a new nickname for her husband. Hey Tood....! LOL!

Kat - you are not a coward. You are a natural Mom.

Take care of that pitching arm. It may be sore after the game.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It IS scary the first time a kid pitches...but they should all try! the pressure spot on the team, but you never know which kids will excel at it. Glad he wanted to give it a go!

lime said...

good for him! it takes confidence to keep going after you walk a couple. he did well!

as i am catching up here i also wanted to say your tiny dancer is adorable. also i am sorry to hear your mom has been having such a rough go of it. praying she is able to recover well and regain strength of body to match that strength of character.

p.s. calypso has excavated my blog since discovering it and you are one of her favorite commenters. she said, "kat just seems so incredibly sweet!" i thought you might like to know.

Riahli said...

Beautiful! I was starting to tear up just reading this, it is so hard to not voice our fear, but so important. As well as stepping back and letting them shine instead of trying to micromanage everything. You are doing a great job momma!

Bijoux said...

My kids have blown me away over the years with their confidence. I think all it takes is a little encouragement! Keep it up, Kat's kids!

Verna Lantz said...

We can learn a thing or two from our kids sometimes. Have the courage to do something you want, even if you are afraid. Good job, Momma!

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

I love their confidence...and it sure says something about you!

Now, I know you have it...singing and performing in front of people definitely takes guts!

Kat said...

Lime- I thought I had already commented on your comment but now I can't find it anywhere. I wonder if I left it on your blog. Hmmm...
Anyway, thank you for letting me know about Calypso's comment. That is so nice to hear! I just adore your family. :)

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson