“How was the basketball game?” I ask Jack – whose name probably needs to be aliased since he is getting old enough to be aware.
“Not good,” he answered.
“What?” I was surprised. He has so much fun running around, shooting for the hoop and hanging out with his friends. “You love basketball.”
“Yeah,” he said thoughtfully. “I just didn’t get to sit on the bench enough.”
Oh my word.
Apparently, he enjoys the experience a lot more than the competition. He’s never had much interest in intense (if you can call 3rd grade anything intense.)
This kid – he basically enjoys life. Things that distract from life-enjoyment can be frustrating to him. He likes to ponder and experience people/places/things. Slow and steady set his pace. The striving part of life is a give or take for him. Don’t get me wrong; he enjoys a challenge. But he’s a linger-er, happy to celebrate others achievements as well as his own.
His preferred basketball attire attests to this regular mentality. Most kids gravitate toward cool kicks, famous-logo’d shorts, socks and stuff. Not Jack. No, he prefers wearing a knit collared-shirt under his basketball jersey. Button-shorts are his gear of choice (he’ll wear sport shorts, usually hiked high) as are generic white tube socks from Target topped by his ittle black Converse school shoes.
He dresses himself.
It’s not like we don’t have the cool gear (I mean, he’s the third boy – and the last kid; so besides having plenty of hand-me-downs, we’d probably get him just about anything he’d like); he just doesn’t care. Maybe he does and he’s expressing his particular taste.
Or – maybe some of his regular has to do with his older brother – a 7th grader who is also content with steady. This one stays his own course – rarely compelled by what others are doing. He still has no cell phone. Whether you think a 7th grader needs a phone or not isn’t the issue – the fact is almost all do. But not this kid. [And it isn’t because he has on-top-of-things good parents being ever so careful too keep the evil social media/internet/snap-chat world at bay. Mmmm, not so much. Remember, laid-back is the operative word around here.]
He’s never asked for a phone, so we’ve never done much about it. And if/when we’ve asked if he’d like one, his reply has always been no. And truth be told, we’ve actually tried to push for one. Many aspects of our life would be easier if the kid had a phone. It’s very helpful for your teen to have a way to be reached. AND it can be a little annoying when his friends add you to their text thread since they have no way to add him. It’s true. Jon is on a 7th grade group text.
It’s just that the kid is fine with the way things are. He’s not chomping at the bit to be in the know even if it means he might be left out of some things.
So – Thank you kind coaches for putting up with us, for encouraging the little guy and pushing him onward and upward – as in up off the bench!
Thank you friends for meeting phone-less where he is. It would be easier for you to leave him out, but you creatively do your best to keep him in the loop.
In this high-octane world that might fool us into thinking that there’s only one lane heading north – the fast lane – we’re here to let you know that slow and steady is still around. And, quite frankly, it’s not that bad. It’s pretty nice.
It often teaches me a thing or two along the way – usually a reminder to take it slow myself to stay the course, to enjoy the scenery and to relish in relationship rather than be distracted by loads of high-octain opportunites.
Thanks for walking the road with me.
fashion mogul – we set the standard over here :)