Last night I had a bunch of our middle school ministry team over to our house â€“ great time! Weâ€™d had it on the calendar for a while. Laughing, talking, competing, pizza-ing, pranking.
Also on the calendar last night was a basketball practice for my 7th & 8th grade sons. Theyâ€™re in a â€œtournament leagueâ€ that plays at a nearby college. Iâ€™ve loved coaching my kidsâ€™ sports since they were little, and being involved as much as possible.
Turns out that last night they decided to arrange all of the teams in the league into 3-on-3 teams, and they had a 2 hour tournament to determine a winner. My sons finagled their way onto the same team, and they came bursting into our house full of friends last night gleefully announcing â€œWe won the tournament!â€ Apparently all the coaches made a big deal of it, and it was quite a scene.
Then my son who was standing next to me said, â€œDad, you missed it!â€
A few minutes later my other son quietly said to me, â€œI canâ€™t believe you werenâ€™t there to see it!â€
And those were the words I woke up thinking about this morning.
Not a big deal, of course, in the broad scheme of things. Iâ€™ve been to tons & tons of their sporting events; coached lots of those. And I feel like Iâ€™m a fairly â€œpresentâ€ parent. But in that moment I felt like I missed something. I second-guessed myself. I wondered if I shouldâ€™ve done something different.
Even though this is a pretty small example, I think Iâ€™m just trying to say that Parenting Middle Schoolers is more complex than it looks at first glance. I think later this week Iâ€™ll post a couple musings it looked easier to me when my kids were 6 and 4 and 2, than it does now that theyâ€™re 16 and 14 and 12!