Slick dropped a bombshell on me the other day: he doesn’t want to play lacrosse this year.
He had a list of very good reasons for his decision; all driven by his desire to make good grades and have choices when he has to pick a college next year. And while I was really proud of him for having such clarity and perspective at 16-years old, I was very disappointed. For me.
Lacrosse has been our family’s social hub for a long time now. The Trailblazer started playing at age 10, then Slick joined in middle school, and we’ve had at least one kid playing every season for the last 9 years. These families have become some of our closest friends. We travel with them, cheer during games with them, and collectively hold our breath when our boys take a knee for an injured teammate.
How can I NOT be a part of it?
How could he ask me to break up with MY friends.
And what would I do with myself every weekend from January to April???
I paused for a moment, and then (of course) gave him the supportive answer he was looking for. I told him I was very proud of him for having the courage to realize he was ready for a change, and to chart a new course for himself. I told him redirecting one’s future is a skill many adults don’t have, because they fear change more than they fear continuing down the wrong path. I hugged him and sent him off.
Then I went in the back yard and tried not to cry.
Because when you leave a circle of friends, they move on without you. I know I’ll still see them, but when they start sharing the funny story about what happened at the tournament in Mississippi, I won’t be a part of it. And because my feelings are so damn sensitive, I’ll pull away to avoid feeling left out. And I’ll miss my friends.
I’m so proud of Slick. He amazes me with his maturity and vision. I had neither at 16. (Or 26 for that matter.) And I know that he is on a path that will lead him to great places, so if studying harder is the ticket there, then I’m on board with that.
I wonder if the Mathletes have a parents’ club?