Zach and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Decision

Zach is 16 now and in the throes of making decisions, some good, some bad and some downright awful.  It’s a learning time for him, I know, but I cringe like a dog headed into the vet’s office…fearing what’s coming next.

That’s where I am right now, thinking and feeling Zach just made a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad decision.  It’s not a life or death decision or one that will affect his ability to move forward in his life.  It’s just a decision I don’t think shows the type of person Zach is looking to become.  He has big dreams and aspirations…this decision, to me, doesn’t show that’s what he’s looking to be.

Yesterday he quit the football team ~ in mid season.  That’s not what we’ve taught him to do…to quit in the middle of something.  I know he’s frustrated by being sidelined with mono.  I know he’s had the fear of God put in him by our doctor and us about the potential of rupturing his spleen if he gets back in the game too soon.  And I know he doesn’t feel like he’s contributed in any way to the team.  What I do know is that a big part of me regrets his decision for him.  He’s not a quitter ~ really.  Even though he left hockey last year, he stayed with his team for the remainder of the season, went to tryouts for this season and made his decision based on how he felt after tryouts.  He didn’t make a commitment and then back out…he just never signed on.  The football decision is different…he left mid-season.

I know he’s worried about being out of shape and out of condition.  I know he’s worried about injuries because of being out for so long with mono.  And I know he doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize his lacrosse season but I think the coach would have totally understood if Zach had gone to him, told him his concerns and worked together with him to find a conditioning plan to help him get back into shape, maybe even better shape, before lacrosse season starts.

I know his coach was, and is, disappointed…not only with Zach, but I think us as well.  Stan sent him an email yesterday and this was his response…

Thanks for the email.  I gave Zach a hard time for two reasons: 1) I can’t stand anyone who quits and doesn’t finish what they started.  2) I think Zach has a lot of potential as a football player.  He was starting to do very well and I think he could have still done well, even being out so long.  Zach is a good kid and we need him in the program.  I wish he hadn’t quit!!”

I know it’s not my decision to make and I know Zach has to learn from his decisions and mistakes but the quote that keeps playing through my head today is “Quitters never win and winners never quit.”  I wish I had been here yesterday when Zach made the choice to leave the team.  I wish I could have looked him in the eye and told him that.  And maybe I would understand a little  more if he had told me his reasons for himself instead of just assuming, later, that I was mad at him for quitting. Disappointed in his decision, yes. Mad at him, no.

This growing up thing is killing me.  Life was so much easier when the kids were in diapers and cribs.  I knew where they were.  I knew what they were doing and I could make most decisions for them.  This “letting go” thing is for the birds.  But I guess that’s just what I have to do as my kiddos grow up and sometimes make some terrible, horrible, no good, very bad decisions.

Oh, for the love of my children….

*Title borrowed and amended from the children’s book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”

2 thoughts on “Zach and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Decision

  1. Jenny-I so relate to this post. As mother to 2 boys, 18 and 16, we have endured our share of “terrible, horrible, no good, bad decisions”. They certainly range from simply disappointing to downright frightening! My heart aches for you and Stan, but I can advise this: carefully listen to Zach's reasons, all of them. Becoming an adult means he will change as a person too. Try to set a parameter for making major decisions that he will tell you first next time; not so you can talk him out of it, but so you can be a sounding board. It probably won't change the future decisions, but it does keep you informed. And by the way, ZACH IS AN AWESOME KID!!!


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