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Inner shred…

November 3, 2009

This weekend I got in touch with my angry soccer mom…

On the way out the door Starshine ran down the stairs,

and sustained an almost identical injury to my knock down on the ice the previous Friday…

I saw her go down…

Tailbone,

bump bump,

head,

bang,

SCREAM……

Luckily our stairs are only four steps of old soft wood…

Even though she could hardly walk,

and sat in shock under a blanket in the car,

she wanted to go out to her Sunday morning game in Richmond…

We got there just as the game was starting…

It is very hard to watch your daughter stand there crying,

as she tries to explain to her two coaches that she wants to play,

but isn’t sure she can…

And it is even harder to watch three goals go into the net in the second half,

when she is the keeper,

and to see the disappointment in the other soccer moms in the bleachers…

Especially in the face of the mother whose daughter was in goal for the first period and got a shut out…

The mother who screams,

YOU have to be hungry for the ball!!!!

You HAVE to want it!!!!

You don’t WANT it!!!

I had to ask myself, over, and over,

Whose game is this???

And when another girl went down,

tripping in a way so that the wind got knocked out of her…

I almost couldn’t stand it…

Her dad half-watched from the sidelines on his cell phone…

I sat with his daughter until she got her breath back and then asked her if she needed a hug from her dad…

She nodded with eyes full of tears and when we walked over and I said to the dad still talking on his cell phone,

I think your girl needs a hug…

He looked like he didn’t know what to do…

But perhaps I’m projecting…

I think sports are great…

I’m really happy that my daughter has school friends who play winter soccer and because of that she wants to play too…

I like that she’s running around…

I like that she’s developing her coordination, her confidence, and new skills…

But I also have major issues…

And I’m willing to take full responsibility for them…

People love to go on about the emotion of the game,

and the beauty…

But healthy beauty and emotion are not incidental…

They require as much, if not more, care and attention than the physical aspects in sport…

And the capacity to grow healthy beauty and emotion is held in the adult environment that surrounds our children…

It seems to me that we are currently working with very limited capacity…

And unlike Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s claim,

there never were any good old days…

There are no better times to go back to…

We have to create what we want,

starting now…

And we’ll be able to as soon as we know what that is…

Until we centre ourselves on a vision and a story of co-creation,

we don’t have a hope in hell of growing any roots of empathy the depleted and toxic soil,

that is the legacy of colonization…

I’ve worked with a lot of other people’s children in my life,

and I’ve only just begun to creep up on middle age…

A few years ago a boy came to me from Kindergarten…

His teacher in the previous year had about as much creative energy as a raisin…

I like raisins…

They can be very sweet and they’re delicious in granola,

but if given a choice I’d rather eat a nice juicy grape…

I remember what this boy said to me in grade one,

at six years old,

his eyes as big as a horse…

Last year I cried every day,

because whenever we had to write I never had any ideas…

And this year I have so many ideas I can’t get them down fast enough…

I have digital footage of him talking about an airplane he built with plastic cubes that connect…

His work shows awareness and knowledge of symmetry, balance, aerodynamics, number, space,

and cooperation,

because he built it with his friends…

As the teacher I didn’t have to DO very much but provide the materials,

model some critical thinking,

hold the space for him to inquire and create with his own magic,

and listen with a lot of openness,

and love…

As he talks about his airplane,

he spits with excitement,

and honest pride…

This year he is in grade six,

and I heard that grade five was so rough he had become THE BIG problem in the school…

Crying everyday at an age when boys aren’t supposed to cry anymore,

and wanting his mom to be there at lunch…

If you’re a person who is both intellectual and feeling with eyes as big as a horse,

and you have a teacher who although physically pleasing on the outside,

embodies negativity on the inside,

you’ll simply shut down production,

in a flight for survival…

I love to play Scrabble…

And when I play,

I am committed to finding a way for the most interesting words to show up on the board…

I can be hungry for points too,

but I’m much more compelled by creative scoring…

And I’ll even sacrifice my own momentary opportunities for spelling glory,

to hold the space for someone else to make a beautiful play,

on words…

For the good of the whole…

IMG_1370

Touch me, take me to that other place... (photo: Starshine)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Tom Brown permalink
    November 5, 2009 3:45 pm

    Gentle and moving at the same time.

    Thank you for sharing,

    -Tom

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