Growing Up

I haven’t blogged in a while.  There could be a million reasons why.  Mostly, I just haven’t felt inspired.  I certainly have things going on.  I have irons in the fire.  I have “stuff” happening but most of the best stuff I’ve been hesitant to share for fear it will all go bad.  Hopefully in the future I will be able to tell you what I’m up to, what the world of food has given me and maybe by then I’ll have an idea of where one of these roads will lead.  When I know, you’ll know.  I promise.

For now though, I’m compelled to write about something other than food.  I’m a mom. And today it seems that “mom issues” are consuming my heart and mind.  This isn’t a terribly frequent occurrence.  I’m blessed to have two fantastic, easy boys who rarely cause a lick of trouble.  They’re truly a joy.  Worrying about them is, thankfully, not something I’ve done much of.  I also am rarely bothered by the “getting older” thing.  I think they’re cooler and more fun with every year that goes by.  I look forward to them marrying and having families of their own.  I look forward to grandchildren.  I want them to be happy in whatever they do.  When they have goals, I want them to realize the work required.  I want them to step out of their comfort zones and do something that they feel is truly important.  But today… today the anxiety over the “next step” in my oldest’s life is nearly crushing.  As I type I feel that my heart is about to leap out of my chest.  You see, my oldest is getting ready to go to High School.

Ordinarily the high school thing wouldn’t cause me much pause.  But he has such big goals for himself.  Goals that require so much dedication, work, drive.  Goals that mandate that he perform well in areas that don’t come easy for him.  Goals that will require that he give more than I feel he realizes he’ll need to give.  Goals that I feel set him up for failure.  And I’m torn between encouragement and tempering expectations.  You see, my son wants to play college baseball.  I know how small the pool of college athletes is.  I know that sports scholarships are, for the most part, a myth.  I know he’ll need to be able to get academic scholarships.  I know his GPA will need to be high.  I know about the community service.  I know.  And he knows, in theory, that as much or more will be required of him off the field as on if he’s to even have a chance to succeed.  Right now, he’s excited about all of it.  He’s excited about the road.  He can play ball.  He’s very good.  How good?  That remains to be seen.  Does he have what it takes?  I don’t know.  Any parent who can tell you that their son at 13 is going to play ball beyond high school is, in my opinion, overly confident.  There are so many pitfalls and land mines along the way.  So much can go “wrong”.  It takes so much more than talent to succeed.  The path he’s about to start down is not straightforward or easy.  He’s going to have to sacrifice more and work harder than I think he could possibly realize.  His high school experience can’t be like mine.  I wasn’t pushed.  I coasted and had a great deal of fun. If he is going to have even a slim chance of doing what he wants to do beyond high school, then his fun will have to come on the field.  Off the field, there will be difficult AP classes, tutoring, community service.  The drive isn’t something that can come from me, or his father.  It has to come from within.  I can support, I can assist but I can’t make his dream a reality.  He has to do that on his own.  He says he’s ready.  He’s focused.  And here I sit, worried about the years that lie ahead.

This morning Collin wrote out his desired schedule for his freshman year.  Algebra, Biology, Pre-AP World Geography, Pre-AP English, Spanish, AVID (which is a tutoring, mentoring, college prep elective) and Athletics.  He wants to be on Student Council, he wants to be a part of a group of athletes that reads to and mentors younger kids.  And at the end, he wrote Baseball.  On his list, the word “Baseball” was surrounded by small hearts, which right now says it all.  Baseball is what he cares about and where his heart is.  More than friends, more than girls, more than anything else, he loves baseball.  Who am I to doubt him?  Who am I to say that he won’t be willing to sacrifice for his love of the game?  I don’t know that.  I just know it won’t be easy and it may not be pretty.  I’m prepared for a long, rocky road.  And we’re only at the beginning.  I’m thankful that he’s excited.  That, to him, the dream doesn’t seem terribly far-fetched.  I’m thankful that when he thinks ahead, he’s excited and hopeful.  I’m thankful that, to him, his parents are just as excited and confident as he is.  I’m happy to support him – no matter what happens.  But were reaching the point where I can’t do it for him.  In some ways, he’s on his own.  And I’m terrified.


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One response to “Growing Up

  1. I think I can grasp the fear underneath all the pride. But here’s what I see in Collin’s list:

    That love is a marker of success. To achieve at the highest levels, it’s not enough to enjoy something. It has to be a passion — to swing the bat a couple of hundred times a day, to take thousands and thousands of grounders, to make that throw to first base so many times that it’s as natural as breathing. A lot of people want the trappings of a baseball career; it’s quite another thing to love it enough to do the work. I know you know all these things.

    And, frankly, it’s a testament to how well you’ve raised him that he has a full list of things that he knows he has to do to be a fully formed student and athlete. When it comes to baseball, there is much that is out of his hands, no matter how meticulously he prepares. It’s the larger sense of perspective that you’ve helped instill in him that will serve him well, whatever happens.

    You’re such a good mom.

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