Last night I had a bunch of our middle school ministry team over to our house – great time! We’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. They’re in a “tournament league” that plays at a nearby college. I’ve loved coaching my kids’ 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 “We won the tournament!” 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, “Dad, you missed it!”
A few minutes later my other son quietly said to me, “I can’t believe you weren’t there to see it!”
And those were the words I woke up thinking about this morning.
Not a big deal, of course, in the broad scheme of things. I’ve been to tons & tons of their sporting events; coached lots of those. And I feel like I’m a fairly “present” parent. But in that moment I felt like I missed something. I second-guessed myself. I wondered if I should’ve done something different.
Even though this is a pretty small example, I think I’m just trying to say that Parenting Middle Schoolers is more complex than it looks at first glance. I think later this week I’ll post a couple musings it looked easier to me when my kids were 6 and 4 and 2, than it does now that they’re 16 and 14 and 12!