Bittersweet

On top of writing for the project (I have 12,000 words written to date) I've been volunteering my ass off at the boys' school. Helping with traffic at the Kindergarten Circle in the mornings, assisting in Ethan's classroom on Thursday mornings, and Tanner's PE class in the afternoon, coaching both Tanner's Little League team, and Ethan's coach-pitch baseball team, and recently elected Cubmaster of Tanner's (and soon to be Ethan's) cub scount Pack. Oh, and I'm also still doing work for BNY/Mellon back in Boston.

A little overwhelming at times, but that's because I'm not necessarily the most organized person. As Heather pointed out when I'm this busy I'm actually more energized, and I get more work done. All of this has been great. The worst week was two weeks ago when the baseball stuff needed a lot more organizational work, but everything has really settled into a nice groove.

What's bummed me out has been the things I've seen. One dad yelled at me in the Kinder Circle one morning since rules don't apply toi him, then two days later a mom yelled at me because I didn't understand how hard her life was. I don't get paid enough to get yelled at for enforcing school rules.

Then coaching has been a real strain on my relationship with Tanner. After every Wednesday practice he's been a pain in the rump. Maybe he's not used to me not paying so much attention to him. Maybe he's not used to me not giving him what he wants. Maybe he's embarrassed because he's not playing as well as his two friends who are on the team. Maybe I'm being too hard on him.

Regardless of how we got to where we are, it's reached a point where he tries to tell me how bad of an experience he had at practice, and I try to point out to him how he is the one who can change his perspective. I try and try to remember that he's only eight, but when the other 11 kids on the team have treated me with more respect than my own so for the previous 90 minutes, it's been difficult to remain all warm and fuzzy for him.

Bottom line, last night I asked him to respect me the same way his teammates do, as I will respect him the same way I do them. And I asked him to ask himself if he really wants to play baseball, because he's been the one kid on the team goofing around more than anyone else.

Was that harsh? Maybe. But if things had continued the they have for the past three weeks, the end of the season on June 9th was starting to feel a lifetime away.

What really concerns me about all of this is not the current baseball season, but the future well being of a little 8 year old boy who has the heart of a saint — yes, on most days this is how I feel about him, because he has one of the kindest souls I have ever known. And I see how easily he is hurt by the actions of friends — who are kids just being kids, but kids being kids will do things to other kids that Tanner would never imagine doing to another person. And this is Elementary school.

What the hell is going to happen in Middle School and beyond? Obviously, with the actions of the parents in the Kindergarten Circle people don't get any better as they age. I worry about my son.

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