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Trophies in the Basement

February 28, 2013

DH & I spent last Saturday cleaning out our basement ahead of some work to be done. Things had become disorganized with all the comings & goings of sons the past few years. It seems to be easier to store unwanted-at-the-moment things out of sight & then forget they exist at all…until Mom & Dad have to move things in or out.

Surprisingly enough, there wasn’t that much clutter. There were, however, boxes that had been packed & moved here 12 1/2 years ago & never opened. So it was time I opened them.

Bottle collections. Do your kids save bottles? Interesting shapes. Pretty colors. They were all intact & had just been sitting in the cardboard box for over a decade. Time to sort them & throw them in the recycle bin!

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Next was a box of antique jars, clamp-top jars & extra canning jars. I knew those jars were hiding somewhere! I have in the last 12 years purchased extra canning jars for my summer work of preserving garden bounty because I had no idea where these had disappeared.

Finally, the box of trophies. Our sons participated in sports from the time they were very young & just about every team, every season presented trophies to commemorate that participation. Soccer, football, basketball, track, baseball in all it’s permutations… There were also trophies for “Best” – best grade point average of an athlete, most improved, MVP of the tournament…on & on.

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The boys have no need for these statues to their athletic prowess. To them, they are quite literally garbage. But to me, they represent many long hours sitting on bleachers, in lawn chairs, standing along a race routes, in the heat, in the cold, in the rain, in the snow & sleet… The true “gym rat” is the parent watching each child, each season. I’m the one who developed fanny-fatigue with my bleacher-behind!

Little boys need physical representations of achievement, aka trophies. They need to know that they mattered & were part of a team. Now these trophies have been donated to Good Will for others to use – just replace the name plate. (I removed the name plates that had my guys names engraved on them.)

One parting thought – Don’t be the coach. Kids will have innumerable coaches throughout their lives. But they only have one set of parents. That means on the way home from the game, don’t question: Why didn’t you make that shot? Why didn’t you hustle down the field faster? Instead, be the parent – the one who loves them unconditionally. The one that will be there to dry the tears when they miss the shot, lose the race, injure a muscle. Just love them. Because all too quickly they are grown up & don’t have you there on the sideline cheering. But they will have the strength inside from your love, support & encouragement.


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