Sometimes you have to let the boy choose. You try to give them the freedom to weigh options and choose, but you secretly pray that he chooses the option that most benefits you.
Ben plays travel soccer and the season starts soon. He loves it. I love it. I love soccer. I like his team. I like his coach. I like watching the games and practices. I have already paid for all the uniforms, ref fees, and equipment. His games are pretty local. His first game is about six weeks away.
Ben also does Destination Imagination. He loves it. I do not. Destination Imagination is basically an event that his team works on for weeks on end. It culminates in a competition that boils down to parents sitting in some random school gym for a couple hours before the kids perform a 5 minute, mumbled and incoherent skit that centers around some project they worked on. Usually a load-bearing structure. Parents then sit in the gym for a couple hours more. Then the kids go to a room for some problem-solving contest. No parents are allowed in. We get more gym time. Then the parent sit in the gym until the awards ceremony. Usually in a gym. It is a slight step above hell but the kids love it. Ben’s team competed last week and again qualified for the State competition which is the first week of soccer. Of course.
Here is the kicker. State Competition is a three hour drive to the town I went to graduate school in. I hate that town. In fairness, when I went there I had just finished my undergrad work. I left my girlfriend back at the college I had spent the last few years drinking my way through and was now renting some lady’s basement and trudging back and forth to a library for a few years. The town did not get a fair shake, but I despised my time up there. All my friends were getting married or getting paid to work while I sat in a library, eating 49 cent Hot-N-Now Burgers and watching my relationship with my girlfriend (now wife) disintegrate. When I left, I swore I would never set foot in that town again. I have driven through that city in such desperate need of a restroom that I was sweating, but refused to stop until I was outside of the city limits. I swore my feet would never touch that soil again. I broke that vow last year for Destination Imagination State.. Here we go again
I had to let Ben understand the commitments he made, weigh the options and choose However, here is what it boiled down to. In the white corner, weighing in as a weekend at home with a couple hour commitment that I enjoy…. Soccer! In the red corner, weighing in as six-hours-of drive time, hundreds of dollars in hotel and food fees, countless hours of sitting in lobbies, and time spent in the wasteland of Mount Pleasant, MI (oops, I said it. Sorry CMU. Oops, again)… we have Destination Imagination.
I can say with all integrity that I let Ben choose and did not push my agenda at all. Today he announced that he made a decision. The last time I felt so nervous and scared was walking alone in the wood after watching the Blair Witch Project. Today, Ben made his choice and I could not be happier. Sorry D.I.