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It’s that time of year

by on June 7, 2014


There are a few times in the year when we take stock and reset our world. New Years is one. That’s when you look back, set goals and go forward. This tends to be universal for those old enough to note the change. But there’s another time that tends to only affect those with kids or in education. Spring ends and kids finish up their year of school. They’ve completed a nine-month journey that is supposed to prepare them for the next step in life.


There are a few times when the child has hit a milestone. Kindergarten to Grade School, Grade School to Middle or Junior High, then on to High School. My son just passed one of these milestones. Graduating eighth grade. His eight-grade year was different than mine. I knew where I was going to high school, it’s not like I really had a choice. I lived in a small town with one school. Kinda takes the mystery out of the whole thing. It also makes eighth grade a lot less stressful.


This last year my son visited a half dozen schools in the area. Coaches discussed their teams with him and the academic standards with me. I liked a few schools, my husband liked a few and my son was torn. He liked the coach at one school, the teachers at another, the student body at yet another. We had to learn to hold back on promises and hold our cards close, especially in the local school district that is known for retaliating against those who leave the district. My son got a taste of what to expect in a few years when colleges came after him. Most of all, my son had to learn to balance pros and cons from the schools involved.


As an adult I was overwhelmed and feared the choice that could set up my child for success or failure in his next step in life. This is just high school right? How could a thirteen-year-old handle this kind of pressure? He was the one that was going to have to attend classes at the school of his choice. He was the one who would have to make friends and be a part of the student body.


See my son’s actually an elite athlete… we never really knew this until the last few months. We knew he had talent and coaches could see his potential. Sadly we’d been stuck with dad coaches that had their own agenda. As high school coaches started filling the stands during tournaments we began to notice the same thing, they wanted our son.


Now came my other fear, what if they only saw my son as an athlete? He’s a good student. Wants to be an architect when he goes to college, has since third grade. I’ve seen the athletes that get passes, but that doesn’t prepare them for the real world. I know the realities of professional sports. It’s not a cakewalk. Less than two percent of the kids that start out in sports will make it to a professional or semi-professional level. The wear and tare on a body make it so it’s not a lifelong profession. My son needed to understand this and choose a school that would set him up not only as a premier athlete, but student able to meet any challenge.


I knew my son would play sports, both his father and I did in college, but I wasn’t prepared for this. He’s just a baby, he shouldn’t be getting ranked. He shouldn’t have to train all year long and have to figure out who’s really his friend and who’s clinging hoping they can ride his coattails. He shouldn’t have to make such big decisions, but he his and all I can do is be there to support his choices. I have to be a grown-up… that totally sucks. When did being a parent suddenly turn into more than feeding the kid, making sure he was clean and playing with toys? Something tells me this time of the year isn’t going to get any easier.


Those who’ve gone through this how did you cope with standing back, crossing your fingers and letting your kid make their own life choices?




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One Comment
  1. belindaegreen permalink

    My kids were not that good at sports so I have never been in the position you find yourself. I feel for ya! All you can do is support him and help him go thru the pros and cons matching those with his ultimate goals. You are charged with keep him grounded as much as possible and hope that all the things you have taught him will not be lost along the way. With you in his corner, he’s got this! 🙂
    Good Luck

    Belinda G

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