Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We Can't Always be the Best at Everything

Number One has been struggling with football. I can't say I'm surprised. He's about the smallest kid in his grade, unless you count the one kid smaller than him that has some sort of growth defect. He's not a really fast runner, either. And, he's a thinker. He can't just make a play on the field because he's so busy thinking about which is the most strategic move. So, he doesn't get much play time. Instead, he sits on the bench. A lot. And that frustrates him.

I chatted with him about his frustrations last night at the King's request. (It's frustrating for the King, too, because he was never an athlete, either). What it came down to is that "it's hard". This is a new concept for Number One. He's always been really good at everything he tried within the first one or two times of trying it. School, making friends, playing the piano, art, and so much more have always just come to him with little or no effort. This whole concept of having to work harder than everyone else just to be half as good as them is new to him, and he doesn't like it.

As we talked, I pointed out that not everyone just "gets it" like he does at school. They have to really work hard to get grades that aren't as good as his are. Athletes who are excellent in their chosen sports didn't just wake up that way. We even talked about people who are Olympians. They are the best in their country, but come nowhere close to being the best in the world. In most cases, there will always be someone who is better at us in something. And that is okay.

Number One is ready to throw in the towel with football. The King is bugged by it, too. I'm not willing to let either one of them quit. Number One has an obligation to his team. After the season ends, he can choose if he wants to stay with it or not. His argument is that he's just not the best player on the team. He's the bench warmer on the team. I wanted to find just the right words for him but just couldn't. Then, I went and visited the MOFia board last night, and noticed a quote in Nettie's signature line. This is what it said:

Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. -Henry Van Dyke

It hit me like a ton of bricks. This is the point I've been trying to help Number One understand. It doesn't matter how well you do it as long as you're doing your best. I think I'll be printing that quote out on some fun sporty paper and putting a little frame on it for Number One today while he's at school. I'll hang it above his bed.


Anonymous said...

great post. And my 5yo ds is learning, that as long as you do your best that is what matters. Love the updated pics of the kids.

Jenny said...

That is a great quote. You are such a good mom. I don't know that I could have been as positive and reinforcing as you were. Good job!

~V~ said...

I love that quote...does it also apply to you and I??? Were the YW wrong when they asked us to silent ourselves when we tried to sing like little song birds? I say YES, YES they were wrong!! Even the worst birds in the forest should sing...AKA Aimee and myself.

Singing now in fact..."the sun will come out, tomooooooorrroooow"

AimeeTheSuperMom said...

No, sweetie. The YW were VERY right when they suggested that we just supervise. It's one thing not to be the best. It's entirely something different when your singing is so bad that it literally kills the other songbirds midflight.

~moon said...

oh aimee :) how i miss your singing!!! hehe