Just this last Sunday I was again convicted to keep a written record of my life. "Journaling" they call it...until now. Now it's called "blogging." A way to keep a record. A way to capture and contain memories. The conviction, by the way, was to keep a record of my daughter's life. I am actually interested in holding on (danger ahead) to everything that she does...for her...and for me. This is a way of prolonging the "dance" (Ref. Dance with Cinderella).
Last week, Daddy was late on Thursday. I have been working out a way to keep from being so late in the future, but that is for another post. Last week my precious daughter sat on my lap while I ate dinner (she's 8) and proceeded to share information about her day in a rather continuous stream. When she fell silent, her mother and I began a brief side conversation which was interrupted with "Why is it that people don't understand that you can't always know which way to run and then they yell at you." Uh oh... With a bit of encouragement, through her tears of dissapointment, we learned she had been "scolded" by her peers for some error or other in a recent game of kickball...her first of two games of kickball she has ever played.
My daughter has been blessed with more talent than I have ever seen. Unfortunately, like her dad, she was not particularly blessed with athletic skill. In fact, like her dad, she doesn't really go out for sports at all. So it was no surprise to me that she was caught in an error...I can remember many from my torturous days in P.E. I was acutally more surprised the day before when she shared her joy at having "accidentally" run the wrong way after kicking the ball but then correcting her "error" and running at "super speed" to tag the base. "You can't believe how fast I ran."
So to hear that one day later her feelings were so hurt that she sat out the rest of the game and cried all through library...I was understandably crushed. I was grateful for the two friends who comforted her...angels in pig-tails I am sure. "Where was the coach," I asked. Where is the "sportsman-like behavior" lecture? I won't judge too harshly because I don't know where he was...but I would like to think that yelling at a teamate for an error is something a coach should be listening for...as a teachable moment. If not, well, the kids will grow up to be like their parents...yelling at their kids for errors, on and off the field.
At interesting side note, her favorite of our attempts to help her feel better involved her wishing that "all the teachers were closed off in a room" and the "principle was locked in his office" so that Daddy could say (or do) anything he wanted with those kids who hurt her feelings. I regret to admit, this was one of my favorite thoughts as well.
We call those kinds of kids "tearer downers" at our house. The opposite of "builder upers." I think she knows what I mean when I pray for both in our evening prayers. Thank you God for the builder upers in her life....and thank you for the parents who took the time to build those little builder upers. You know who you are....you're the ones who are sick of the tearer downers in adult life.
The givers and the takers. God give us the wisdom as parents to be givers, and to give the world our greatest gift: our children - who are ready to give more.