It's football season here in the 'ville and it's a hot one! Thankfully it's no longer in the 100's, but it's HOT. Because of the short amount of times we get to see Daddy we have taken time to head out to football practice and at least spend time being near him. Our athletic training staff has been working over time making sure our team is hydrated, and I was pleased to see my boys get in on the action as well. Having been a student athletic trainer in college for 4 years and high school for 3 I am very familiar with the need to keep water bottles full.
The first day filling those bottles was a fun game, but the 3rd day filling those bottles was cutting into play time. I chose to take the opportunity to speak to my 6 year old about how important it was to keep our team hydrated. He was pretty resistant at first, feeling it was unfair to be asked to work. I could see an internal struggle rising. He knew it was a good thing to help, but he REALLY wanted to play on the mats.
Having been a parent for only a short while I often find myself stumbling through these situations, but I knew I had an opportunity in front of me I didn't want to miss. I pulled my son to the side and simply told him the choice was his, but in our family we would always look for opportunities to help. It took a bit of time, but soon enough my boys were standing side by side filling their water bottles with smiles on their faces.
When asked about it later my boy was quick to say he had fun helping. As a parent I know I have SO little control. I have opportunities to guide, influence and lead by example, but the rest is up to God and my own child's choices. As a coach's wife I think we have to use all our surroundings to teach, including life lessons on the sidelines.