I thought I would be different. I had visions of me having no opinions whatsoever of the sports or activities in which my daughter wanted to participate. In my dreams I was a laid back encourager. Not overly involved, but always present. Quietly supporting her as she chased her dreams. Loose. Chill. Totally calm, cool and collected. And then volleyball happened.
We live in an uber competitive area where you basically have to pay for private club sports from the time your child is tottering to be able to play for your school team. Having not really understood this, and my daughter teething on a frozen wash rag instead of ball leather, I feel a little lacking and a little not wealthy enough to give her any kind of leg up. And yet she loves this game. And I love this game. I played it. I coached it. And therefore, I HAVE NO CHILL.
I had every intension of being a positive, shining example to the other team moms. But instead, I am embarrassed for anyone but my husband to hear the things that come out of my mouth when she is playing. Sometimes, I’m even ashamed for him to hear, but he took a vow. He’s stuck with me.
It’s painful for me that she’s not the best. That she’s not a starter. That she doesn’t play select at the highest level. When her team is stinking it up, I get all riled up and come dangerously close to loosing my mess. If any of my fellow team moms are now wondering if I have griped and complained about your daughter, the truth is that I have. But if it makes you feel any better – I have nothing against her. I am an equal opportunity griper. I’m so deeply sorry. And here’s a horrible admission. It embarrasses me when my child messes up. And I’m jealous of those who are better. Did you hear that? I am jealous of 13 year old girls. How…utterly…ridiculous.
Every time my girl competes, I am surprised all over again at what comes pouring out of my heart. What motivates me, who is normally a DELIGHT, to think and act this way? PRIDE. And what’s behind this pride? Deep-seated insecurity. I wanted to be the best, and now I want it for her. But at what price? C.S. Lewis said, “For pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.” I’ve battled physical cancer. I don’t need the spiritual kind. The bible tells us, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6 NIV Opposed by God. That’s a loosing tournament bracket if ever there was one.
My goal for the next match (motivated by pleasing God and not being pond scum) is to be the world’s okayest sports mom. A complete transformation may take some time, but I want to take the advice Paul gave to the Philippians. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” 2:3 NIV
I am joining Kate Motaung and other members of the Five Minute Friday community for our weekly writing adventure. To learn about Five Minute Friday, click here. This week’s prompt is, “Motivate”.