Blazing a New Trail… or How I got philosophical over my son quitting the lacrosse team


Slick dropped a bombshell on me the other day: he doesn’t want to play lacrosse this year.

Waiting for the shot.

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.

He's so adorable. Don't tell him I said that.

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?

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24 thoughts on “Blazing a New Trail… or How I got philosophical over my son quitting the lacrosse team

  1. Kate Kresse

    I completely understand your feelings! Perhaps it is because I do not like transitions. I like things to stay the same. I am used to them. Now you have change and a new unknown vista. I am praying that the new friends awaiting your arrival will help you create new and fabulous memories. …and there are new friends awaiting you….Good for your lad for recognizing that his heart is moving in a new direction. you are raising him right–he is courageous and adventurous.

    Reply
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  3. Sandy

    Thomas is at the same point in his life, only his decision is based more on money and cars! He applies to Winn Dixie on his 16th birthday and is afraid that baseball will take away from his ability to work more hours per week (thus making more moulah!). My advice was to wait until he reached that point before making a definite decision, in the off-chance the Winn Dixie schedule wouldn’t affect baseball at all. Of course, deep down, I have to admit that I LOVE going to his baseball games and hanging out with the other moms…and I must make sure that my advice isn’t based on my own selfish desires. (sigh)

    Sandy

    Reply
  4. Wendy

    Been there, done that!! I had the same feelings when both my boys quit playing hockey after playing for 3 years and again when Jared stopped playing lacrosse after 3 yrs at CBS and 2 yrs at Jesuit. I stilll miss both of those groups and mostly that comraderie. However, Jared has begun his second year with the Jesuit Phils and I am so enjoying the shows they put on and a whole new group of friends. I am sure you will transition just fine!!

    Reply
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  6. Heather Holbrook

    My heart goes out to you. My daughter was involved in a girls club last year, and I met some awesome moms who I was having a blast bonding with. She decided not to continue this year, for good reasons, too. It was so hard to say good-bye to my new friends, and that was just after one year! Also, I had dreams of being part of a family of sports fan parents, like you were. My brothers played hockey for years, so my sister and I spent hours in the snow with other hockey sisters, cheering and chatting. Unfortunately, my kids are not sports-minded, which is really no surprise since I’m totally uncoordinated, and my husband dropped out of sports in high school. They are musicians at heart, like their dad. So I am now looking forward to the day when I can be a band parent : )

    Blessings as you find a new group fo friends: )
    Heather

    Reply
  7. Kay Thornton Swanson

    Been there, and it’s not easy. But then parenting isn’t for cowards, is it? The most fulfilling result has to be in seeing vision and maturity in your son and knowing that you helped to impart it.

    Reply
    1. Lisha Post author

      I told him that far too many adults stay in bad relationships, in jobs they hate, and in other bad situations because they fear the unknown. I hope that lesson sticks with him.

      And, hey, this will leave with a lot of time for blogging!

      Reply
  8. Jenny Glenn

    Sounds like you’ve done a great job raising your boys. You show clarity of mind, too, for putting your own feelings aside and realizing that Slick should be praised and supported for his forethought and determination.
    I can relate. By the start of 10th grade, my son had already been in band over four years. He came home one day and informed me that he wanted to try out for the Academic Decathlon team, something I knew little if anything about. From his description, it sounded terribly difficult and, in my mind, not as promising as a band scholarship. Well, he became the first sophomore in the school’s history to make the team. He then made the team two more years and by his senior year, he was ranked #1, on his level, in the state of Texas. He was already a hard worker and a scholarly student but he learned so much more about studying, public speaking, testing and teamwork. I don’t think he would be a Harvard graduate today if he hadn’t followed his own path and tackled such a difficult course of study.
    Don’t worry about Slick or you. You’ll both find your way and he will make you proud every inch of it!
    P.S. Yes, he is adorable!

    Reply
    1. Lisha Post author

      He makes me proud every day. God put something special in that one’s heart. I know he’ll change the world, because he fights for “right” every chance he gets. 🙂

      Reply

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