"WHAT! YOU TOO? I Thought I Was the Only One"

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What!  You too? I thought I was the only one.'”  C.S. Lewis

When I first started this blog it was to chronicle a time of milestones in my kiddos’ lives.  What it has, in part, evolved into is a realization that I’m not alone, and I’m not completely crazy in this great big world of parenting.  I love hearing back from you all when you tell me your stories and they so closely resemble mine.  I love knowing that I’m not alone ~ that I’m not the only one.

Yesterday’s blog proved to me, again, why this blog is so important to me. I heard back from so many of you about Zach’s decision to leave the football team.  And I couldn’t be more grateful for all of your responses.

I know sometimes I over-share and sometimes I may be overly critical but I always try to tell the story as close to truthful as possible ~ at least my truth.  Everyone has their own version of a story, yesterday was my version.  So yesterday could have been one of those times when I was overly-critical and overly truthful in my opinion of how things played out with Zach and how I felt about his decision.

I’ll explain…

The kids love it when I read my blog out loud to them.  They say they love hearing my inflection in voice when I read my blogs.  It makes it real, they say, to hear in my voice how I feel about the stories I write.  So yesterday I read “Zach and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Decision” to them.  And here are their responses…

As soon as I finished reading my blog, I looked up to find Claire with tears welling up in her eyes.  I thought I had royally screwed up and had crossed some type of line where she thought I was the meanest mom on the planet for telling a story like that.  But her tears started flowing, she said, because she misses watching Zach play hockey and my blog brought it all back.  What a charming way for me to add salt to her wound ~ by reading her a story critical of her big brother whom she loved to watch play hockey.

Lucas told me I was a little harsh in my assessment of the situation.  REALLY??  I was a little shocked Lucas would think that but I guess, in looking at the title of my blog, I could be seen as being more than a little critical.  

Stan said as excited as he was to have Zach want to play football, he realized the path of football was not the right path for him.  Stan went on to say as soon as Zach said he was afraid of getting hurt he knew football was not right for him.  Stan told me he was never afraid of getting hurt in football.  He just bull-dozed his way through each and every play.  When a player feels tentative or nervous about playing that’s when injuries happen, Stan said.  He went on to tell me that if we had forced Zach to finish out the remainder of the season and he got hurt the guilt we would feel would not be worth forcing Zach to stay with something he was nervous about doing.  (It was as Stan was telling me this I realized he is a little right.)

And Zach…well, he has no idea (from me at least) that yesterday’s blog was a criticism of his decision making process.  When he finds out, I’ll be sure to use my friend Chris’ advice.  She said I should “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.”  Thanks, Chris!  Maybe part of Chris’ advice is why I felt so negative and critical…I wasn’t told of his decision until after Zach already left the team.

But it was when I got your responses, though, that I knew even though I was a bit hyper-critical of Zach and his decision making and shared a story of our lives I wasn’t exactly proud of that I had struck a chord with some of you and we were able to say “What!  You too?  I thought I was the only one!”  From that story some friendships were born and others were cemented….for the love of all of our children as we all navigate this crazy, zany, out of this world experience we call Parenthood!

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