“The coach stacked the team.”
“What do you mean?” I asked my son. He was sitting next to me on the bottom step of the bleachers, panting and sipping water from a squeeze bottle.
“The coach picked all his favorite players and put them on the other team.”
“So, you’re saying the teams aren’t fair?” I was stalling as I contemplated what to say or do next. I don’t believe that parents should always rush in and fix their kids’ problems for them. I don’t like it when parents control the outcomes in favor of their kids.
“Yeah, basically.” My son responded with disgust and discouragement.
“So what do we do when life is unfair?” I asked him.
“Suck it up and work harder,” He responded immediately. I smiled at his interpretation of our family values.
“Exactly. When the teams are unfair, you’ll have to work harder to beat the other guys. That’s all there is to it.” And I sent him back to his team. I wasn’t sure what he would do with that. But I was proud to see that for the next half of the soccer game, he really stepped it up and gave it his all. So much so, that he took a direct hit at close range and his ankle swelled up like a golf ball. (Hopefully it will look better in the morning after ice, elevation and ibuprofen.)
Way to go Boy! Not only did you give the other team a run for their money that night, but you demonstrated to me that you have absorbed the family values of no whining and no complaining, work hard and make the most of what life gives you. You’re team didn’t win, but you have a strong character and solid values. You’re a good sport in both games and in life. I’m proud of you, Son.