Saturday, October 6, 2007

how do i know my children love each other?

We've been through all the stages of childhood. There was a time we didn't believe that our children would ever love each other. It broke our hearts to see how they treated each other. People all around us assured us that this was a normal cycle of life. In our heads we knew this, in our hearts it still hurt us when they hurt each other.

This weekend we arrived at a new place in life as a family. The evidence that our children really love each other deeply is now a realized gift. It all happened because of a football game, a Friday night football game.

My son's coaches had told him all week how proud they were of him. Because of his hard work, leadership, and good attitude he was assured that he would play during the Varsity game. You should have seen his pride. He has worked so hard all year. He believed what the coaches said again and again. If you work hard, and you show us you want to play....you will play.

It didn't happen.

When we arrived at the football stadium we saw our son pacing on the field. He was excited and we knew he was focusing his nervous energy. Every transition of the game he stood near the defensive line coaches with his helmet on ready to run when they called out his name.

It didn't happen.

By the third quarter it was becoming clear to my daughter that her brother was going to be devastated. She worried, fretted and later cried four or five times on his behalf. "It's not right that the coaches did that to him." One of my sons coaches is my daughters history teacher. On the Friday afternoon of the game this coach asked my daughter if her brother was excited about the game. She told him he was. He gave her four tickets to the game for our family. We were confident he would play that night. We called our family. They were so proud.

It didn't happen.

I've rarely if ever have gone to school to complain to teachers or coaches. I've encouraged my children to work things out on their own. This time I have too. You don't tell a kid that they are going to play....you don't tell a kids sister that she should be excited....and then don't put him on the field to play.

It didn't happen.

He is heart broken. I've never seen his spirit and enthusiasm drained by anything. He's worked so hard for this....and it didn't happen.

What did happen. My daughter proved her love for my son. She cried. She put his picture on her cell phone as a way to honor him and she intends to tell her teacher that we were all at the game to see her brother play and it didn't happen.

Our team lost too. Perhaps if they had used the energy and focus of my son that night they might have won. It didn't happen.

1 comment:

shawn said...

I've been in that place of disappointment where your son has found himself, too many times ... Too often life just sucks, and people become insensitive jerks ...

Your son is fortunate to have a family that includes that tough sister who will be there for him no matter what ...

Give him a hug from ALL of us and tell him to remember (as hard as it is) - "it's ONLY a game" - and his sister and his dad (and mom) have shown him what's really important in life:

HOW you treat people!!!!