Something To Cheer About

You wanted to cheer. You really did. It’s just that there was no reason to cheer. Some of the other parents had reasons to cheer. Their sons made diving catches and hit long fly balls over the fence. But not yours. He just sort of hung out in right field. Picking grass. And his nose.  Ah, the joys of high school baseball.

Maybe the problem isn’t your kid’s talent, or lack thereof. Maybe it has more to do with you. What if there really is a lot to cheer for? What if you’re just looking in the wrong direction?

Your daughter won’t be earning any college scholarships for her basketball talent. She does have something better going for her. Something that will have a greater impact on her future. But she might walk away from it if she doesn’t hear you cheering. She might think that sports is all that really matters and, therefore, she doesn’t really matter.

Your daughter cares about purity. She’s far from perfect but she cares about herself. More than that, she cares what you think. That’s why, when a boy asks her out on a date, she tells him to talk to her dad first.

That’s something to cheer about.

It works the same for your little boy. He’s not the best player on his team. He spends as much time on the bench as he does in the game. And he seems okay with that. He’s much more okay with it than you are.

But something happened after the game. On the way inside for the ritual post game ice cream celebration, he holds the door open for his mother and the three people coming in after her. Later that day, when you’re unloading groceries, he asks what he can do to help.

That’s something to cheer about.

During a sporting event, most of our cheering is done from the sidelines at the top of our lungs. It may or may not be heard by our intended target. Sometimes it’s best that it is not.

The rest of life should work differently. When your ten-year-old little boy holds the door open for a stranger, he doesn’t need to hear your cheer as loud as you can. He needs you to pull him to the side and tell him what a good job he did. He needs you to tell him that what he did was what real men do.

And when your older daughter changes clothes without rolling her eyes because her mom and dad tell her that her dress will get her all kinds of attention that she doesn’t need, she needs you to celebrate that. She needs to know that you are proud. She needs to hear that her future is bright, with or without a scholarship.

By all means, when your kid scores a touchdown, cheer. Cheer as loud as you can. He has accomplished something significant and he’s on his way to becoming a real football player. Your cheers can be a small part of what helps him to get there.

Just don’t forget to cheer for what he does off the field too. Moving toward that kid in his class who everyone else is ignoring and sharing a meal with him in the cafeteria is also a significant accomplishment. He’s on his way to becoming a real man. Your cheers will be a  big part of what helps him to get there.