With a bright blue sky above, the emerald green of the grass below and the crispness of fall filling my senses, I am sitting at my sons soccer game. Parents line the edges of every field, cheering on their kids. Usually I am coaching or helping out with coaching. This year, I am not. I get to just be a mom, which after being a coach can be a tough job. The coach in me starts to bubble and spew. Spew is the right word. Giving directions and encouraging the kids, my kid where to go, where he should be, and what he should do. Line: parent/coach. I am not the coach, I am mom. Fortunately with time, and experience I am learning to notice when I am crossing that line. So, today, I sit back, and watch. Enjoying the weather, my little man in goal, and the other team playing very well. Impressive really.
There are 10 + games going on at the complex, and suddenly we hear a booming voice hollering behind us. Another mom and I look to see where the voice is coming from, thinking there is some excitement, possible scoring in the game. Nothing unusual for soccer. Just an excited dad. As the games go on, the booming voice becomes a distraction and escalates into a huge annoyance. After 20 minutes of listening to the enthusiastic father I am looking at a line. Some of you may think…Oh my gosh, she didn’t! So you know, no I did not get up and say something to him. Mind you, I had it go through my head, had a plan, and was ready to approach him. This is how it went down…”Excuse me sir? May I take your picture? I am doing an article on parents and the enthusiasm they have for their kids sports.” Just so you know, it was in my head, it didn’t really happen. But, he did keep on “encouraging” till the end of the game. A line?
As parents we don’t see the line when it comes to our kids. I know I have crossed that one many times. Sitting or standing in the stands, directing, and encouraging, loudly. At home, reminding them what they could have done, what they should do. Crossing that line. Becoming a distraction, maybe even embarrassing our kids when they play. The booming dad had a few of us wondering how his daughter must be feeling, or even those sitting in front of him. He was over the line, from where I sat anyway.
I thought about my past and that I was just like that dad. Thankfully not so much anymore. And mindful to be careful in the future.
Lines…we all have them. Ones we will cross, and those we dare not cross. I tend to stand on the line, inching toward the edge more often than not. Over time and line crossing I have start to get a grasp on when to step back, when to step forward, or to just stand still. There are times when I stumble, and by the grace of God I get back up again.