Tuesday, August 26, 2008

short lived


yesterday was a hard day for me. ben decided not to play soccer.

for those of you who know me, (and lets be real......if you are reading this stuff---you must know me.....why else would you bore yourself with my life's details?) you know that ben's "finding his way, and niche" has been somewhat of a struggle.

I was so thrilled when Ben decided to try out for soccer again after taking a year off. last year was a difficult one for him, and us. he just didn't seem like himself. his grades were down, he didn't want to be involved in anything....he was generally fairly difficult to live with---and i spent most of last year concerned about him and the decisions he was making. so, this summer, when he announced he was going to try out for the HS soccer team, we were thrilled because we felt it was a good sign. maybe, just maybe, he was working his way out of the "funk" he has been in.

but alas....his soccer days were short lived. ben started complaining after the second day of tryouts. we chalked it up to him being out of shape. we told him it would get better. the whining continued, though. his "what was I thinking?" statements continued. we encouraged him and held our breath.

yesterday ben flat out told us that he was not enjoying soccer as he hoped he would. that he woke up everyday thinking about how he had soccer practice, and it immediately would put him in a bad mood. he did not look forward to practice, and did not look forward to playing games. he wanted to quit before the season took off.


okay--i feel it is important that you know that it is not the fact that he doesn't want to play soccer that is so hard to take. it is the short lived hope that maybe things were changing and looking up for him. i just want him to be happy. i just want him to realize there is more to high school than going to classes. i wanted to see some sort of self-motivation in him. i want to see him passionate about something other than hanging out with friends and spending time on the computer.

it is a fine line to walk. this whole teenager thing is difficult. he is so sensitive, and moody. we have been trying for a year to light a fire under him....to try and help him find something he can be excited about..... some of our attempts have been interpreted by him as us thinking he is a loser. (not our goal here, folks....) some of our attempts have resulted in him thinking we are trying to run his life. some of our attempts have been listened to and pondered, and maybe made a difference for about a week's time. (more frustration....)

yesterday, we concentrated on the whole aspect of just wanting him to be happy, and to feel supported..... he agreed that last year was not a good year for him, and that he wanted to change things a bit. he wants to concentrate more on his classes. to put a little more effort in. i know he is nervous about his heavy course load. but, we also told him that we feel he needs to find something worthwhile to do. to get involved somehow. to find something to get excited about....to branch out a little...to take a chance. we are not going to force him to play soccer--even though we are more than disturbed that he wants to quit something else. again. but, at this point in his life, there is no reason to force him to do something he is miserable doing. our goal is to help him be happy-not depressed everyday!

i have to tell you, though.....
this is hard on parents that were both very involved in numerous things in school. it is also very hard to see lack of motivation, and desire. it is also VERY hard to see your child struggling to find his way.

please pray for us---for wisdom. we want to make the right decisions. we want to help him build character. we want him to know above all else, he is loved.
please pray for ben---that he finds "that thing" to capture his interest. that he finds success this year for his efforts. that his heart is softened, that he seeks God, and and that he has the desire to make the most out of his life, rather than just coasting through it.

it is hard to be a parent.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

It is hard to be a parent. We would much rather take on suffering than to see our 'babies' going through a rough patch.

I feel for you. I also know that you & Matt are doing a fabulous job parenting those boys of yours...and that Ben has a good foundation to keep him grounded. He will have ups and downs (like all kids), but with the love you have filled his life with, he is going to be A-OK. :-)