Keaton is playing lacrosse this spring. I have been beyond excited to see not only him working hard, but also the way Matthew is coaching him and his team. Every game their team (the mighty Round Rock Rattlers) has not only been outnumbered, but often are smaller in stature. It has been amazing to see the team rise to competition and put up amazing fights and have a record of 2-2.
I have to admit even though I am a fierce competitor, my heart has been the proudest not of the number of goals or the wins, but from a few small actions of Keaton in the last few games…
For those who have ever seen or watched a lacrosse game… it can be rough. The rules for men’s lacrosse are different than women’s, and while it doesn’t result in the level contact of football, there can be some collisions during the game. There are often players on the ground because of the nature of the game. I have praised Keaton in the last two games, not because of his ability to score, but because when he has collided with opponents, he has helped them up and made sure they were ok. I thought I was doing such a great job of telling him this behavior is so much more important than scoring. While I completely agree with what I was saying, I don’t think I fully expected what came next…
After a practice, Keaton walked through the door crying… he was so upset it was hard to understand what he was saying. I finally was able to get him to calm down. He informed me he was upset. He said, “I help others when they get knocked down, but no one helps me when I get knocked down.”
I will admit, I had to pause when he said this… no one prepares you to talk with your kids about these obstacles.
I looked at him. Matthew looked at him. We then said, he was right, it is hard when you help others up yet others don’t do the same. We then had a great family talk and shared with him how we both have struggled with similar situations. We ended the talk with one point… we each get to decide who we want to be… do we want to be the person who helps others up… or do we want to be the person who walks away.
Of course he told me he wants to be the person who helps others up and not walk away… his ability to respond so quickly challenged me. Am I willing to help others up? Am I willing to help anyone up? Do I put conditions on who I think is worthy of me helping? I can’t answer these questions for anyone but myself… I do know I think we would be in a better place if we all wanted to be known for helping others up.