I remember Lorenzo running up and down the basketball court with a huge smile on his face, but oblivious to what was going on in the game; spacing out watching geese fly overhead while looking adorable in his baseball uniform, and running the wrong way while playing flag football. Then, he tried soccer and scored seven goals in one of his first games, and I thought, “He has found his home.”[mc4wp_form id=”16061″]
The years have passed, and he is slowly developing into a good soccer player; it comes naturally to him. He still has a lot of work to do, so I make sure I tell him. Being supportive to me is not about being a cheerleader, is about trying to help him accomplish his goals. If I just lied to him and told him good job all the time, well, I would be doing a disservice to him. I know I can be hard on him sometimes having lost some of my filters as I get a bit older. If he doesn’t do his best, I am sure going to let him know. For me, my sons doing their best is not about scoring or being the star; it is about them putting full effort and doing everything they can. If they give full effort, I honestly could care less about stats.
In the same way, I demand the best effort out of them; I demand it out of me. I expect myself to be supportive in my actions as well as how I convey the message. How I have found my inspiration to be more supportive is by supporting their random, fly-by-night interests. Boys watch a movie, a show or chat with their friends, and all the sudden they want to be ninjas, pilots, authors, football players, drummers; it changes every week! It is by supporting their fleeting interests that I am learning how to be more supportive. Those transient pursuits are laid back and remind me how fleeting life is. It makes me feel bad when I am too hard on them over other things.
The reality is that life is just a blink. One day they are babies who fit in the sink, the next they are trying to convince me they are growing a mustache. To spend it not supporting their dreams and interest, however, crazy they might be, seems like a waste of my time. I will remain honest with them, but I am learning that being supportive and encouraging them to be happy, is what’s truly important. To be supportive is not to be a cheerleader and it is not to be a constant advisor. I am slowly learning that it is a mix of all of it while allowing them just to be themselves and happy.