It’s been weeks trying to convince a certain 11 year old to sign up to try out for his school’s soccer team. He played for a rec team when he was 7, but after a weird experience with a coach who split the team into an A and a B team, (putting his own son on the A team of course) Carter lost interest pretty quickly. And that was that. Soccer was what his sister was good at. A new Middle school seemed like a good motivator. I knew I was perhaps pushing the issue, but I was convinced that if Carter could get into a sport, he would discover his natural athletic ability which would in turn boost his overall confidence. So yeah, I pushed a bit. Don’t roll your eyes when I also admit that the psychic told me that Arron thinks I should maybe push a Carter little harder. Playing soccer was mentioned several times in various sessions.
Getting Olivia into team sports had been easy and she has had mostly good experience, but Carter and I have not had a great track record when it comes to getting him involved in sports teams. Coach dad’s who put their kids first, overly aggressive teams who do nothing to make players feel included. Carter has yet to have a good sport experience and I can’t help wondering if it has to do with the fact that I’m not a dad. I am sure it has a lot to do with why I sort of stopped pushing him into team sports in the first place.
Which is why when I discovered on Wednesday that the tryouts began on Tuesday, I found the medical forms online, printed them out and sat for an hour in the doctor’s office so he could participate in the Thursday try-out, only to be told that his doctor was out of the office and the doctor that was available had never seen Carter and would not sign the form. Undeterred, I headed to the school to explain that I would hand deliver the form on Friday and to please let Carter try out today. We had spent over an hour the night before hunting through Olivia’s old soccer cleats and shin guards to get him properly equipped. There were a few teary panic sessions, as he worried about the medical form and the location and when I would be picking him up. I cajoled, coaxed, sweet talked and even considered bribing him to try out. I nearly gave up on the whole damned idea about seven different times.
After the doctor’s office fiasco, I drove to the school where I waited for the Athletic Coordinator/6th grade Administrator for half an hour, finally asking the three TA’s who were waiting for her as well if she was always late. They said she usually was. I felt sorry for them having to kill an entire period every day waiting for an administratorÂ that showed up late every day. Is this what we pay our taxes for, so our kids can go to school to sit unsupervised in a hallway for an hour each day waiting for this woman to show up? I gave up waiting for her but got a call from her a little while later, after I had gotten home. She told me Carter could not try out without the form. I expressed my worry about Carter missing two of the three try-out days, but she didn’t seem to care. She suggested that if he had played before it shouldn’t be a problem. I explained that he hadn’t played since he was seven and she sort of made a little noise. He’ll be trying out with boys who have played a lot, she warned. She suggested he try out for Track in April or maybe it was May. I had stopped listening by then. I didn’t quite hang up on her, but it was close. I had to call the school secretary back after I calmed down to get a message to him to take the bus home and not go to the tryout.The very thing he was most anxious about had come true.
I get that there are rules, schools need to cover their asses, but seriously? Was it really too much for me to ask that they make an exception and let me get the damned form in one day late? We are now back to square zero again in terms of confidence. It took so much to get him calmed down about the try-out that I doubt he will agree to go to the last day of try-outs after having missed the first two. He has no interest in track, though I will no doubt try and champion that cause too. I wish the kid could just catch a break for once, though maybe its really me who needs the break.