Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mom, It's Not Her Fault

I go back and forth a lot on whether or not I am too hard on my girls. I don't think I am too easy on them in general. I may slack in specific areas but I'm not aiming to be Nazi Mom. That's exhausting. At times I feel like I embarrass myself and them with reminders and routines and discipline. Especially in public. For example, Natalie left the school gym while Cara was at basketball practice last week. She was with a friend that was allowed too. She was not allowed to. I made her sit with me for 5 minutes for breaking the rule. Two kids, same age, two parents, different rules. Sorry Nat. Your Mom is a meanie. I expect a lot out of my girls. They really are incredible kids. I do get a lot of compliments. They definitely have their moments though. It's not all good behavior that's for sure.

Last night was Cara's last basketball game in her HCRA league. Ok so we didn't know it was going to be her last game because it was the first in the tournament but they had not won a game all season so we kind of figured it would be their last. Surprisingly they played the best they had all season! But they still lost. Lol

Half-way through the game a typical possession change happened and Cara was ready on offense and one of the girls from the other team bumped into her running to get on defense.
Ok this would not be a Danielle story if I left it like that. Lol
The girl from the other team that impacted with her just turned 9. You would never believe it. This girl is about my height (I'm 4' 11") and she's not tiny. This girl can MOVE! She can also make half court shots. I'm not kidding! I don't even think they allow 3 point shots for 7/8 year olds. She is amazing. The first time we played that team my mouth stayed open almost the whole time.

All I remember seeing was the girl running into Cara and hearing Cara hit the floor ( it was loud) and seeing Cara crying. She was just crying that she didn't feel good and holding her arm. So I ran out there.  Nothing looked terribly out of place so I let Coach Daddy handle it until later when I noticed she wasn't calming down. Eventually she was fine and even played the 4th quarter like nothing had happened.

As I walked back to the bleachers the girls parents from the other team asked me if she was OK. I thought that was very sweet. I told them yes. I was still holding back a few tears because Cara was absolutely scared. More scared than injured. When the game resumed I noticed something. I heard the other girl's parents tone change. The way they were talking to her from the sidelines was different. They were being harsh with her. Disciplining her now. That's when I caught on that I needed to make sure they really knew, that I knew, that Cara falling wasn't their daughters fault.

Next break in the game I went to them and told them what a fan of hers I was. That she was an amazingly talented kid. I got a shocked reaction. They thanked me. Her mom went on to tell me that she had just turned nine and is predicted to be around 6' tall as an adult. Then she asked about Cara again. Going on to say that they have actually have had other parents clap and cheer when her daughter has fallen, made mistakes or had fouls called on her. "She has no malice. We don't teach her to play with malice. She's a kid". Then I really understood, they were afraid because other people had been jerks before. Their daughter had done nothing. They reacted by being more critical of her so she didn't do something like that again or mess up again.

In that moment I wanted to say or do something that would make up for every parent that had ever done that!!! They are just kids. Just admire how good she is! Don't hate! She is way bigger than Cara but that wasn't what hurt her.  The FLOOR hurt Cara! Had a smaller girl run into her the same thing would've happened. We all need to realize that just as much as that is our kid out there, that is someone else's kid out there.

There are some people that need to concentrate on making sure their kids are not playing dirty. Those are usually the ones that watch the other kids and blame them too much. Just saying.

Some of us need a reminder in the other direction at times. We need this when our good kids get in trouble at school. We need this when some old lady at the mall gives us a snooty look because our kid is having a bad moment. Need it when our kid comes home and a friend has said mean things to them about the way they act.

This is what I hope that Mom heard me say last night. "Mom, it's not her fault. You have a wonderfully talented girl. Keep going. Don't let mean-spirited people spoil what you know is true about your daughter".

Replace "her", "girl" and "daughter" with "his", "boy" and "son".  Use it when you need to.