Saturday, September 20, 2014

Football, Embarrassment and Eating Shirts

So, let me set this up a bit.  Will has been watching his brother practice and play for three years.  He chose to do football this year with his buddy Brady.  He has been so excited and proud.  
And then football practice starts:
Not feeling it.  Will's face is not just randomly like this in this picture, this is how he feels

Then comes the shirt sucking/eating
And a little of this face.  PS that is not sweat, it is spit
 And then steps in mom.  I give him wonderful, encouraging words that give him courage to get out there and give it his best shot.  Haha--we all wish.  No, I threatened him.  I told him he would have to do chores to pay us back the money we spent on the league.  And no, it was not a love and logic natural consequences talk (although, really how much harder would that have been).  It was a teeth together, somewhat sweet and sour "we're not doing this talk."  Okay with a little love and logic as I got myself in order.  Not sure if it was my lecture or the coach's pep talk but after a while...
We got a little throwing

A little catching

He caught it!
A little Tomlin kicking

Even some throwing
 And then we were back to this...
 But that's okay.
 I did a little thinking on this.  I think it has a little bit to do with embarrassment toleration.  I made this term up.  Some people call it shyness, stubbornness or even introversion.  I think my term works best.  This boy has low embarrassment toleration.  He does not like doing things in front of people that are watching his every move (and laughing--this is what parents/grandparents of 3-4 year-olds do when these kids do something good, bad, weird).  It is a lot of pressure for their systems.  Child Development is really important to me and I love learning about it and reading about it--I may be a little obsessed.  I am pretty sure somewhere it says that structured play/sports is not developmentally where 3-4's are (older than that even).  But here we are, knowing this and still wanting him to engage and be a part of something.
Also, let's be honest this is about parent embarrassment toleration, another term I just made up.  True confession: I was kinda embarrassed he was not jumping in like all the other kids and wondering what all the other parents thought of...wait for it...ME.  Oh man, Lord Jesus help me let him be who he is.  Does it really matter if he jumps in or just sits?  How hard should we push--if at all?  Who knows?  I am actually not looking for an answer.  I mainly just want to keep learning how to love my boys and pray they are confident, loving, strong, happy, whole people.  And try to keep perspective on how much YMCA micro football once a week for 45 minutes matters in the whole scheme of his life.
The pictures are fun anyway.
The big brothers club
These boys...more on Henry, Football and Embarrassment Toleration to come

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