Friday, May 24, 2013

Your kid's a loser

Got your attention? Winner and loser have that ability a simple label that means so much in so many ways.  Graham's baseball season started this year and for those that don't know the history, here's a little background.  Jeremy loves sports and competition and truth be told, so do I.  We always fantasized about a boy that was ALL boy, that loved sports.  Graham has his own ideas, always had, no I mean seroiusly since womb, that kid has been an originial.  Most mom's will gripe about their boys non-stop physical agression and overly loud obnoxious behaviors, not Graham.  He's calm, calculated, percise, our thinker.  I saw him squish an ant with his flip flop once and was shocked, as he truly coined the phrase, "he won't hurt a fly."  I worry about that with G, he has such empathy for others, a truly compassionate, gentle heart and I worry that being a boy in our society, that may be tough for him.  In fact there is a boy in school that Graham has befriended and his teacher lovingly called us because it's preventing Graham from playing with his other friends.  You see every time Graham tries to this boy gets upset and cries and Graham tries to tell him- 'let's all play with everyone', but the boy won't and so Graham stops and goes and plays with him, because no one else will and he feels badly.  I have talked to him numerous times about how he can't control others choices and it's wonderful that he tries to help him, but ultimately he has to make that choice and enabling the boy isn't helping him learn that isn't how to make friends.  Life lessons are hard and often times painful. (Trust me- I get that) It's a hard balance teaching your kids to care for their needs, but also those around them.  But, Graham also has a boat load of confidence and he can be bossy, assertive, domineering and stubborn.  Just not physcially.  So, I didn't know if our (little)big boy was going to want to even play baseball let alone twice a week.  Jeremy insisted that he wanted to do this with him and he was doing it.  I reliqueshed control, a rare occurance, and again, Jeremy was right.  Well, kind of.  Graham is no all-star althete, quite the contrary.  But he is trying, working hard, getting out there, doing something outside his comfort zone and it's awesome to watch.  Nothing gives me greater pride than our kids pushing themselves outside of their strengths.  As proud I am of Graham and his academic accomplishments, when I see him working so hard on baseball I tear up.  Because he was born gifted with a great brain, that's easy for him, and that's great.  But working on something, earning it, that is a true accomplishment.  He is so seroius, too serious of course, in his position, whatever that may be that inning.  He listens, while other boys are running around in circles, Graham won't leave his "ready" position. 

He asks all game long, along with the other boys on the team, "Who's winning?" "Are we winning?".  And there in lies my problem.  There are no winners??? WHAT?  No losers??? WHAT??? Who came up with this cockamamey crap??? Life is winning and losing.  LIFE is learning to cope with being a LOSER when all you want is to WIN!  It sucks.  It's not a fun lesson to learn, but OH so important to learn it.  I have failed to understand or empathize with ANY theory that be presented to me of why your kid can't be a loser.  Your kid is in fact going to one day be a loser!  It's a fact.  And to delay that implying that one day it will be easier for them, I just don't believe it.  I think the sooner that lesson be learned the better.  People who know us know this.  Because don't think for a minute we let our kids beat us at candy land or war or zingo...oh no, we WIN.  And trust me when they finally, inevitably do win, wow is it a sweet victory.  There will always be winners and losers in our house.  More important that ANYTHING else to us is that they learn to be losers.  Maybe because I am a horrible loser.  The worst kind, excuse making, challenging a another match instantly or plain out refusing to play said game for risk of losing again!  ICK!  Who wants that?  Our rule is, you lose and you congratulate the winner, you are happy for them too.  They got to win and that's fun and you keep trying for your turn in the sun.  If you try and try and try you too shall win someday at something.  Not everything, not everytime and certainly not EVERY game of baseball. 

I just can't wrap my brain around it.  If you are afraid the kids in baseball will get slaughtered and lose every game- which isn't likely, since really none of them can play.  The swing would likely be a couple of plays actually made causing a player to get out and costing a run or two.  But, why call it a game?  Why not just run drills and skills and have one game/show at the end of the year like gymnastics does at Audrey's age?  What bothers me, is the kids are now losing that drive.  They are beginning to ask less already, care less and it bites.  Truly, because I like healthy competition.  I think it's good for all of us, keeps us trying and doing our best.  But, to tell everyone you are awesome and great just because you stand there and not separate any of that out? That is just plain ridiculous.


  1. We told Connor that if he wants to know the score of the game he will need to pay close attention to runs that cross home base. By both teams. He obviously isn't able to focus enough during either parts of the game. If he wants to know bad enough he will figure it out. Maybe next year. But I know what you mean, someone is always going to come out ahead or behind. Get used to it kid, and try your best.

  2. Bravo!!! I could not agree more! There is nothing wrong with there being a winner and a loser, it's called life! I was at my girls track meet yesterday and couldn't believe they were handing out ribbons for seventh place! When I was in school it was 1st, 2nd, 3rd. That's it. If you wanted to place you busted your damn butt and put in a little effort. Seriously, that's whats wrong with kids today. They are babied to much, people shelter them from disappointment and failing, so they just grow up feeling entitled to a hand out and cannot cope when something doesn't go their way. It's sad. Ug...I could ramble on about this forever! lol


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