Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Yeah, I am that good

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time with my kids. For those of you that know me, you know my standing on them, their activities and my devotion.

Last week, one of my offspring asked for a sleepover. No problem. Then another friend was added. Soon, the sibling wanted in on the action. That too, resulted in another friend.

Before long, we went from one sleeping over to EIGHT.

I had planned for dinner at a certain time and things weren't going too well. Food=good, timeliness=bad.

No matter, this is what I live to do. Cook, entertain and make people happy. I watched the kids hang out and chat. Then they asked to head to the store across the street.

As dinner was served and eaten, I really relished in the moment. So much so that my wife noticed that I was probably glowing and called me "super dad". I was the happiest I had been in quite some time. They wanted to go to ice cream and I offered up some cash for those that weren't prepared. (I even got change back)."Sure, but be careful." (I also WORRY, A LOT). They all headed off, over the hill. It was really a neat sight to watch the group as they mingled, jockeyed for position and really got along. My kids included.

After the ice cream was eaten, the kids got a bit restless. One of my claims came out with a water balloon and the war was on! I even let them throw water balloons from the upstairs bathroom window. (I did laugh thinking that "mom" would nave never allowed that!)

Looking back, I got to see, and really pay attention to the inner workings of boys, girls, and boy-girl relationships. It was just so neat to watch and be privy to what happens.

Later that night, they were all down in the theater hanging out. It's the only room where you can put your feet up, eat and hang out on the furniture. Yeah, it's cool!

Anyway, they were playing a game and I got to play too. Being near 40 and getting accepted (to a certain level) by your children's peers, is a pretty big coup. I work very hard at letting all of them know my expectations. I don't mince words and I treat all of them with respect. I also am very adamant in that I expect some respect in return.

Forward to last night......I was at a sporting event with one of my kids. It is near the end of the season and the overall record is so far past dismal, it's beyond sad. No wins and really no close games. No matter, the kids are still playing.

I noticed that the opposing team was similarly matched in skills. Something we haven't experienced this season. All the other teams play year round, or the coaches are effectively a$$holes and winning is the only option. Those coaches like to know they walked away from a game that the score is 2 to 26. Class acts I tell you.......but pull the "Cl" and you know what you get.

So, two of our coaches were absent this game. So me being the one to take advantage of a situation, I pretended to be a coach. I did what I do naturally.

Recognize the talent.
Challenge the mind.
Motivate the heart.

I spoke encouragement. I challenged the kids. I made a few changes with their bats and how they hold the grip. It worked. Some got hits that normally don't. Many got on base. And several scored.

Sure, the team was better. But we...THEY scored 11 runs. Three times anything they had scored before. On several occasions, a player said they liked being ENCOURAGED.

While it wasn't just me, the other coaches were more encouraging too and they actually coached, where I just tried different things. But I did something different. I spoke to the players DIFFERENTLY. I treated them with respect. I think they responded positively to that.

Sure we lost, but they had fun doing it and enjoyed the game. I know it was the best one I had watched.

We have several more games left in the season, all against very good teams. Hopefully, they can play as well these next few games as they did this last one. But I suppose it might also depend on if I can be in a position that I was last night.

I know it wasn't because of me. But I know I was part of it.

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