“Mom! I forgot my sneakers!”
I started laughing because surely she was joking. I was 100% confident that my responsible child did not forget her basketball shoes she needed to play basketball. But there she stood in a pile of snow wearing her Adidas slides…you know the ones I suggested she not wear because of all of the snow but I was reassured that she “was fine.” I pick my battles.
But I could tell by the deer-in-the-headlights look on her face that she did, in fact, forget her basketball shoes.
I was not exactly a “happy” woman rushing 20 minutes in the snow back to our house to grab her sneakers. It was 1:15 and she had to be at the gym by 1:30. Because of this unplanned trip, she would just make tip-off at 2:00pm. My daughter didn’t know it…but she was about to get a tough yet extremely necessary lesson in life.
She didn’t play in the first game.
Not a half.
Not a quarter.
Not a minute.
Not a second.
And I was giving the coach an internal standing ovation from the bleachers.
That’s the time the entire team needed to be at the gym for a game. That was the rule.
My daughter didn’t follow the rules.
Plain and simple.
The coach wasn’t mean about it at all…she told Gia that she didn’t warm up enough and wasn’t ready to get on the court. But in my head…I was secretly hoping she was benched for not following the rules. Whatever the reason, I had the coach’s back on this one.
Someone, somewhere is going to send a nasty email about “failing my daughter…not supporting her…relishing in the fact she was upset…why didn’t you pack her bag?!” Oh an email or 18 are coming. (And by the way – my kids know this: if you’re old enough to play competitive sports, then you are old enough to pack your own bag.)
As a mom, of course I didn’t like seeing my daughter upset. No parent WANTS to see their child upset. But this was not something that HAPPENED to her. This is the direct consequence of her actions.
Here’s the thing: If I don’t teach my children to follow the rules…then I am failing them. When has rewarding bad behavior ever worked out?
Sure, she’s “only 10.” But one day she will be 30…and she can’t show up to a meeting 30 minutes late. If my kids don’t learn now…then when will they?
The coach’s move reminded me of old school youth sports. You remember? When we didn’t hand out participation trophies for just showing up…parents weren’t allowed at practices…you didn’t play if you weren’t at practice……those who worked harder played more…you were benched if you had bad grades. Oh I could go on and on about the glory days.
I want my children to build good habits. Be on time…always do your homework…keep your word…share…listen well…treat others with respect…have manners…treat everyone equally…be honest…show gratitude…work hard…be patient…don’t judge others.
Habits change into character.
That’s why I love sports…
Sports don’t build character…they reveal it.
“I will never forget my shoes again.”