We live on a great street in a wonderful neighborhood located in the middle of suburbia. Yes, even I make fun of suburbia, so go ahead! But fortunately, it does provide my children with a safe street full of kids where they can play sports and hangout…of course the houses are on top of each other (but the good thing…less yard to mow).
Our street has about ten to fifteen kids that play outside on a regular basis. Ages range a great deal, but for the most part everyone tries to include everyone. When it comes to the boys on the street, my son is the youngest of the group, however, we have a couple older ones that do an excellent job watching out for him. Unfortunately, none of them were present yesterday when six kids were playing basketball in our driveway. Playing in our yard is always welcome, and it does often to seem to be the basketball goal of choice…not sure why. Anyhow, it had started with three elementary school kids then two high school aged kids joined the game. I was watching out the window to see if my son was getting the ball since the older kids joined the game. Avery started playing recreational basketball this past season, but he still has less experience than all the other kids and often has to fight for the ball. I understand this will improve over time, but of course a mother is always protective of her babies. On that note, I try to avoid being that helicopter parent. I called Avery to the door after a while of seeing him be left out and quietly told him to speak up and say he wants the ball too. I doubt he said a word. My Avery has a heart the size of Texas and he just wants to make sure everyone is happy. For example, last night his sister had her cup of water taken away at bedtime because she was mad and kicked dad. Avery took his cup of water to her when dad walked away.
Last night, while sitting on the sofa, I asked my sweet boy, “Honey, does it upset you when the big kids don’t give you the ball, or do you just enjoy having all the kids at our house to play?” It broke my heart when he said he wants the ball and wants to play too. I took the question a little further and said, “Do you want mom to speak up and tell everyone to make sure everyone is equally included?” (Not sure what age parents start becoming embarrassing.) I was actually surprised when he said yes to that as well.
Sometimes it is so hard to keep yourself in line as a parent. Where do you let your child fight for themselves, and where do you step in? I certainly would not walk down to someone else’s driveway and give orders, but when kids are playing in my driveway, my kid gets to play. I look at my children and see so many differences. My daughter, who is three years younger, has no problem fighting for herself…remember, she kicked her dad when she was upset. But my boy has the huge heart and always wants to play nice and fair; I really hope he does not get walked on in life for being so sweet.