I try not to worry about my kids. With a God this big, why should I worry or fear? But I do, even when I pray and I think I’m not going to. We’ve done homeschooling, private Christian school, and public school. Last year I had 1 in private, 2 homeschooling, and 3 in public. This year we are transitioning everyone to public school and it’s a little heart wrenching for me.
Last week, my oldest boy, who homeschooled last year, who has been spending too much time in his room, wearing pajamas, and reading books, came out of his room early on Monday. Dressed. With shoes. He said, “Bye mom, I’m going for a bike ride.” I stared after him dumfounded.
Then Tuesday, he said, “Soccer tryouts at my new High School started yesterday, but it’s not too late to join. Can I go tonight?” My son has done little more than walk from his bed to the fridge in a year, partially because of his love of books, and partially because he has sore, swollen knees from Osgood Schlatters disease. I was happy he was out of his bed and interested in something. I found the medical forms he would need and we showed up.
I sat in the bleachers with one other mom. 52 kids and 2 moms. I had prepared 3 bottles for his practice: 1 with ice water, 1 with electrolytes, and 1 with recovery protein and glucose. I was terrified. How is a kid who lies around reading books all day going to handle high school soccer tryouts?
They did nothing but run for 2 hours. Greenies, 400 sprints, 800 sprints, more greenies, then more sprints. There was less than 60 seconds recovery time between each exercise. I thought he might throw up. I thought I might throw up. The other mom said, “this is exactly what they did yesterday.” I thought, “this coach is an idiot.” What happened to alternating active recovery days? He yelled at the boys, “If you think this is hard, don’t bother coming back tomorrow!” I yelled back, “You can do it, Caleb! Finish strong! I believe in you!” Every other boy on the field was either wishing their mom was there to cheer him on or really thankful that she wasn’t.
As soon as I got my boy home, I filled the bathtub with warm water, epsom salts and Blue Heat essential oil blend. I made another glucose protein shake. I iced his knees. I told him how proud I was.
He insisted on going back the next day.
The next day, his dad took him. I was singing special music at the testimony service for my brother’s priesthood call to elder. In our church no one can decide to join the priesthood. It’s not something you can earn, study for, or choose. The call comes through prophecy. It’s a big deal and kind of rare. While I sat and listened to the prophecy and confirmation testimonies I thought about my boy on the soccer field. Did his dad take protein and glucose and electrolytes? Would he cheer?
I beat them home and when he walked in the door, I knew things weren’t good. We had talked about worst case scenerios. If you don’t make the team, maybe they would let you come to practice and work out and get stronger. That night, Coach told him no to both.
The next morning the other mom in the bleachers sent me a text. “Cross Country meeting tonight.” Cross Country? If Caleb had sore knees, was this the best thing for him? But I asked him anyway. He said “maybe,” so we showed up. XC had started on Monday also, but would credit his running at soccer practice for the missed sessions. There were no tryouts. If you want on the team, you’re on the team. The coach was amazing. “We cheer everybody on, even the other team. Grades are super important. We are family.” They explained that even though they work out for 2 hours a day 6 days a week, they have an alternating active recovery schedule. Finally, someone with common sense.
Caleb showed up Friday for his first practice, we left the house at 5:45 am. One coach rode his bike moving between the front of the pack and the rear so he could keep tabs on the kids and their health. The 2nd coach drove a car, so he could pick up the kids that were in trouble. Caleb ran for 2 hours and when I picked him up, he was smiling. He did a jig and said, “How can I have so much energy?” I asked him how he did. He said, “I wasn’t at the front of the pack, but I didn’t have to get in the car.” I asked him to tell me the name of 1 kid on his team, he told me 2. Then it hit me, Caleb will start this HUGE school with friends, adults he can trust, and self-respect.
At that moment, the room started to spin, my knees went weak, my vision closed in on itself. I had just earned myself a recovery day or three–all from worry, sigh.
How about you? Is your family making big changes this year with educating your kids? How do you feel about it?