"Why do we even come to these games?" I asked Patrick as we watched Justin's soccer game in the steady but warm drizzle this morning. Justin had played about 10 minutes out of the 45 minutes we had watched. I knew that the coach was offering for him to go in, but we saw our son shaking his head and talking (in depth) to his coach.
"He probably has a million reasons about why playing in the rain isn't good for him," I grimly stated. I know my eldest isn't known for being a huge athlete, but he really loves to play soccer, and it's great exercise! AND, he insists that he likes it! So why does he refuse to work harder? The other boys were huffing and puffing with red faces and sweaty hair, and their team finally won , 3 to 1.
I peeled the sleeping and quickly overheating 4 year old from my lap and we packed up to go home. Patrick carried Corinne and I followed behind with the boys. I kept my mouth shut, knowing that a discussion regarding his performance (or refusal thereof) would just begin an argument in public. And that is never a road I willingly take when there is a perfectly fine and private argument location in the van.
We made it to the van and loaded up. The family got buckled in while I put our chairs into the back. I turned around to find Justin's coach beside me.
"I feel really bad that he didn't play more," he began, "but every time I asked him, he said he didn't feel like playing or didn't have any energy. He's really improving on his skills..." he kindly listed all the ways that Justin has improved this season. I thanked him and climbed into the van where I parroted back the compliments.
"Why don't you push yourself just a little bit?" we asked. "You'll never get any better if you don't work past the hurdles of exercise!"
"My legs are too heavy today!"
Yes. His legs. Too heavy. Sigh... Patrick and I shook our heads and did a splendid job of not berating him too much. We only threatened a leeeeetle bit if he didn't apply himself at the games the way he does at practice. And then we let it drop because Corinne was spiking a fever and the house was a disaster and Patrick had some real estate business to take care of.
As I was bustling around the house, alternatively stroking the sweaty forehead of my sleeping 4 year old and scrubbing toilets (I did! I cleaned toilets AND showers. AND vacuumed on my hands and knees because the belt broke in my vacuum! I was a regular little homemaker, I was...) I noticed that the house had gotten quite quiet... Hmmmm...
There was Justin on the rocking chair; red-faced, listless eyes, and drooping over the armrest.
Damn. He was sick. He was beginning a fever and we were ragging on him about energy and attitude.
You may commence with feeling better about your own parenting skills in comparison to ours. This is my gift to you.
(Oh pleasepleaseplease let them all be healthy for tomorrow's excursion to Raging Waves in Yorkville! We get to go for a review and I think it might be frowned upon if I were to drag 3 sickly children along, just for the free lunch...)
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