This is going to hurt me more...
So. Christopher does not like basketball camp.
I remember the day we went to see about basketball camp. It was a nasty rainy day in March and I wanted to stay home but Papa Bear asked me to ride along just in case I had any questions.
I had no idea what the program was about. Camp, I thought was going to be a couple weeks out of the summer. Imagine my H-no response when I found out it was six months long, three times a week, 3 hours each day, 40ish minutes from the house, with no air conditioning and a funky little bathroom.
With my "are you sure?" questions, I tried to sway Christopher into changing his interest. They'd only have the month of July off. For the most part, his school would coincide with this new schedule.
Camp would start the following week in April. "You won't be able to start on your homework until late and you'll probably be up late. Are you sure?"
"You'll probably only get to go to Mimi and Granddaddy's for a week this summer. Are you sure?"
"What about football? Are you going to play football in the fall? Are you sure?"
Well, he enthusiastically replied, "Uh huh" to all of my questions. We didn't sign him up that day. I rode home silent with my arms folded, adamant about it being too much for too long but I was overruled.
Papa Bear took him on that first day, signed him up and then I pretty much took him each time thereafter.
I turned those days into happy me time coffee breaks, leaving Christopher unhappy with me leaving him behind while he did his thing. What nerve!
He wanted me to stay and watch and he worked on me Every.Single.Time.
I started coming back to camp earlier and earlier until last week, his first day back after about six weeks when I didn't leave at all. On the 40ish minute ride there he chipped and chipped away at me until he had chiseled away all my resistance. He said, "I don't have any confidence when you're not there." "If I get yelled at, I feel better if I look at you and then I do better."
He'd made my decision for me when he said, "You don't have to drop me off at the door. I'll stay in the car until you park." So I parked and we went inside.
It felt like a sauna in the gym. I didn't drink anything because I didn't want to need the restroom. I sat and sweat in there like a hostage, and had to put eye drops in my eyes every so often so I could blink.
That's the last time we were there. We went out of town one last time for a long weekend, intending to arrive back in time for basketball camp on yesterday to start the week fresh.
On the ride out of town last week we passed the time by taking turns asking each other questions. On one of my turns, I asked, "Do you regret signing up for basketball camp?" He said, "Yessss. But don't tell daddy." I left it at that. He'd only confirmed what I already knew.
He brought it up over the weekend, several times - getting his whine on about starting back for real on Monday.
Our only rule for his choice in sports and activities, if you sign up, you can't quit.
The thought of starting back this Monday brought him to tears on Sunday night.
I didn't want to go back to basketball camp either and had a hard time falling asleep Sunday night as I thought to myself, "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you."
We talked in the car on our way home and he beat around the bush asking me if he could quit. I said, "You know you can't. You're going to have to follow through with this and count down to it being over." In a breath he did the math and winced saying, "I'll have like 35 more practices."
During our talk in the car I was relieved to find out that he still likes basketball and wants to play rec in November. He just doesn't like basketball camp, being one of the youngest there and the not so great.
When we got home, Papa Bear greeted us and I quietly did some unpacking. After a four hour drive home, I didn't want to drive another 40ish minutes to be dehydrated while sitting in a sauna. Even though Christopher had sucked it up and been a good sport up to this point, I felt this was the day he would break and we needed a break. Just one more day.
So Mama Bear made an executive decision and pretended that basketball camp didn't exist. I said to Christopher, "Put your shoes on we are going to run some errands." His eyes lit up and he was all too happy to go anywhere as long as it wasn't to basketball camp.
Tomorrow is another day. We will make it. I won't get a coffee break but I'll survive. If he doesn't want to face it alone, we can face it together and it'll just hurt me more than it hurts him.
So have you been chipped and chiseled away at until you finally gave in or made a sacrifice for your kids?
Has there been a challenge that your child had to face that hurt you more than it hurt them?
P.S. I did the math, and there are 32 more practices until October 28th.
I'd like to give a blogger shout out to Launna. She always shares thought provoking memes and when she shared the one on above on her Facebook yesterday, it gave me something to think about and write about. I wrote this from my phone after midnight and cleaned it up this morning. Thanks Launna!