Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bad Seeds

"What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar."  Proverbs 18:22

My 6YO has had a rough week on the playground. There is a girl – yes, a girl – who is making his life miserable.

First she would chase him, and then tell him if she caught him, they would keep him in the Girl Club.

Then he told on her.

Then she said he couldn’t play with her sister.

Then she gathered her group of girls and would approach him just to say things like “Stay away from me!”

Unlike his older brother, my 6YO is very socially aware. All of these episodes bothered him. REALLY bothered him!

So a few nights ago, it was time for Mother Bear to step in.

I emailed the teacher. I emailed my friend who is a playground supervisor. I named names. I implicated the seemingly innocent. I called witnesses to the stand.

I read my son what I had written and I got, “Oh Mommy! I love you! Thank you for writing that for me!”

He was very relieved.

Then he was apprehensive.

At bedtime he wanted to know what would happen if the playground teachers just told him not to be a tattle tale… AGAIN.

I told him to go inside and find his teacher and tell her what was going on.

He said he’d get in trouble if he went into the building without telling the playground teachers.

So I said, “Just tell them you need to go to the bathroom, and then go inside and find your teacher.”

“You mean lie???” he said.

Okay, so maybe I wasn’t meant to have children. Maybe I can’t be a good example. Maybe all of my evil motives are terribly transparent if even a 6YO can point them out!

“Yes, you can lie, and you won’t get in trouble with me because it will be for a good reason,” I said.

It was the best I could come up with.

“Well, that’s okay because I kind of lie to them anyway,” he said.

“You do?”

“Yes, I get tired and need a drink and they won’t let you go in for a drink, so I tell them I need to go to the bathroom and I go in there and rest and then I get a drink before I go back outside.”


Looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The road to Hell really is paved with good intentions.

Thanks to Jesus for saving us from our sins, regardless of good or bad intentions; and for securing a place under the Tree of Life for even bad seeds like me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


"He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."  Micah 6:8 

Last Saturday marked my son’s soccer team’s fifth game.

You know, the team that I COACH.

Anyway, we were playing a girl’s team, and one of the girls just happened to be a sister of one of the boys on my team. Their mother had told me that we would win the game because the girls’ team had yet to even score a goal in ANY of their games.

And that made me sad for them.

The game started out just like any other, with all the kids chasing the ball around the field. But then we scored. And then we scored again. And again. And again. And again.

It was only the first quarter!

I have two boys who are really good at getting the ball down the field and taking shots. So I took them out for the second quarter and I explained to the whole team the situation with the girls’ team. I told them that it was okay if we won, but it would be unsportsmanlike to just “kill” the other team. They seemed to understand what I was talking about.

Then, during the second quarter, I told all the parents on my side what the deal was and they all agreed on the right thing to do.

(Thank you, God, for my second group of good parents!)

And so I started switching kids around, putting kids who like action in the positions of little action and those who avoid action front and center.

Then I put my own kid back by the goal.

As fate would have it, the action came to their goal and one of the balls rolled through.

Everyone cheered! Even the parents of my team! I was so proud for everyone involved. It was a great moment in U8 sports, if such things were documented.

And then…

I see the referee talking to my kid by the goal. She looked to be getting on to him.

“What did he do?” I asked.

And she said, “He said, ‘We’re still going to win the GAME!’”

So I did what any other Outraged-At-Her-Own-Child-Mother-Of-The-Soccer-Team would have done and threw him out of the game. I made him run laps on the field beside us until I forgot about him, and he finally stopped on his own because his side was hurting. And then we had a llllloooonnnngggg talk about good sportsmanship.

Later I heard that one of the other boys had gotten on to his dad for cheering for the other team.

And so tonight at practice we’ll be working on dribbling, passing, staying in our positions, and memorizing our new team motto: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”