Don’t wrong us.

14 May

Oh friends — I’m so, so busy this time of year.

BASEBALL season is upon us.  And this year, I have TWO boys playing in SEPARATE leagues.  We are running to practice and games 5 or 6 days a week.  We eat supper either at 4:30, or have a snack at 4:30 and munch at the games and eat again at 8:30 -9:00 when we roll back in the house.  It’s chaos most nights… but we’re all making the most of it and adjusting the best we can.

Every year something happens to me when I watch my son(s) play baseball.  I feel like that gentle and quiet spirit I try so hard to cultivate all year long… it leaves me.

Not only do I get excited about the game and love cheering for my boys, I somehow start to take the game personally.

I feel frustrated when our boys mess up, only because I know their talent and I feel their own frustration when their bodies seem to fail them in the moment.

But more than that, I get incredibly worked up when the coaches of my boys’ teams and the coaches of the other teams behave in a manner that degrades the children, the lessons being taught, or the game.

This week, my son (in the 7 & 8 year old league) played a team who beat them 19-0 in 4 innings.

Mind you, in our town… they go from t-ball to 7 & 8 league so this is their very first year of playing the game with real rules.  They are learning that there are three outs, the difference between forced outs and tagged outs, how to make good throws and catch the ball, and how to run the bases. Everything is new!

This other team decided that if our team dropped the ball or had a bad throw, instead of taking advantage of one extra base, they ran 2 or 3 extra bases every time – including sending kids home to run up the score.

When our 7 year olds were batting, they had their infielders move all the way in so they were almost all playing around the pitcher’s mound so if our kids did hit the ball, there was no way they could actually get on base.

And it’s coach pitch, but their coach would pitch but then stand in the middle of the field so our kids had to try to see and play around him, instead of running out of the way once the ball was hit and let the kids play the game.

I won’t even mention the foul ball that they called fair, the kid they let score while their coach was holding the ball, or the way their fans cheered like this was all appropriate and spectacular.

I was mumbling under my breath, texting a friend, and biting a hole in my tongue.

I wanted so much to say something.  How dare they?  Don’t they see how wrong they are?  Don’t they care that they are degrading and hurting our kids?  Don’t they feel any sense of moral responsibility to teach all kids to play the game when they are 7 & 8 years old?  Do they really think they deserve cheers and a pat on the back for their behavior?

And then I thought long and hard the whole next day about my personal anger.

A huge part of me wants to call it righteous anger and justify anything I do with that anger.

And yet… I’m thinking about some other applications.

Am I this moved over true righteous anger?  Do I defend Christ like I defend my son’s baseball team?

 

Or …. more than that…..

 

Am I this angry over my own sins?

Do I ask myself the tough questions? ….  Am I as mad at myself when I let pride lead my actions as I am at others?

What would I answer if I repeated this same confrontation to myself:  “How dare I?  Don’t I see how wrong I am?  Don’t I care that I am degrading and hurting our kids?  Don’t I feel any sense of moral responsibility to teach all kids? Do I really think I deserve cheers and a pat on the back for my behavior?”

Practical Application:

What really do I have to say for myself?

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6 Responses to “Don’t wrong us.”

  1. trixie1466 May 14, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    I don’t know what you have to say for yourself, but I would say that you’re a pretty normal mom, LOL. I applaud you for having the self control not to actually voice your outrage. I’m sure there were lessons to be learned for your kids about being the underdogs and losing with grace despite a possibly less than fair playing field.

    I’m glad you can see that there are other things worthier than that for your righteous anger, but I say you should cut yourself a little slack because you’re a mom!!! That’s what we do!!!

    Love your blog, Kayla!

    • Kayla Gulick May 14, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

      Thanks Trixie!!!

      We do tend to be “mama bears” sometimes, that is FOR SURE!!! 🙂

      And you’re right… there was a huge lesson for the rest of us in losing with grace but still holding our heads up.

  2. howsyourlovelife May 15, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    From the other end – with teens who drive themselves to the games and pretend they don’t care if parents show up or not – you will experience this slow burn of injustice for your children over and over again. I’ve learned that they take our cues very much to heart, and tend to respond the way we do. Teach them to look over the heads of those who don’t play fair, at the long runway of many years of playing, not getting caught up in the details of today. Cheaters never win – at some point.

    • Kayla Gulick May 15, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      Great reminder that they’re watching us!! Thanks for the encouraging words. ❤

  3. Dan May 18, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    One year we had a coed team for our church league soft-ball team. I played just to fellowship, My wife is the competitive one when it comes to games. She loves any kind of game and loves winning, but is not obsessive about it.

    Our team was LOUSY. There we were in the heat of summer standing in the blazing sun of a dusty ball diamond and 14 runs down by the end of the 2nd inning. It was really demoralizing, especially if you were playing a team that was not winning “gracefully”; that seemed to be enjoying and amused by our ineptness. Toward the end of the season we finally beat a team. Funny thing is, we couldn’t find any real joy in it. All we could do was feel empathy for a team so bad that WE could beat them.

    • Kayla Gulick May 18, 2014 at 11:28 am #

      HA….. that made me chuckle a little.

      I’m glad you shared that. It’s good to know others have a competitive spirit and emotions can take on a mind of their own… even when you think it’ll be joy and it isn’t!

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