My oldest was bugging me about whether or not he made the baseball division he tried out for. He was annoyed that his brother had already found out the day before and began going down the path of doom and gloom, “I probably didn’t make it. I’m no good…”
I couldn’t bear to see him dejectedly banging the rocking chair in which he was sitting rhythmically against the wall, so I told him that I had “unofficial news,” that “under no circumstances” would it be okay to share. He perked up.
I told him that I had exchanged emails with his brother’s division coordinator the day before and asked that if my sons were both placed in that division, could they be on the same team.
“Uh huh. Uh huh…so…we’re on the same team? That’s not good news for me…” he slumped a little.
“No, no, no! I heard back from the coordinator. He said ‘they’re not in the same division,’ which means that you made it” (into the division he tried out for).
His face lit up again.
“The only thing is, you can’t tell anyone until we get the official word.”
“Well, when’s that gonna be?” he hmmphed, shoulders sagging again.
“I don’t know, honey. I imagine it will be soon.”
He thought for a moment, smiled, and did a little happy dance as he headed towards the bathroom where his brothers were taking a bath.
“Hold on,” I stepped into his path. “When I said you can’t tell anyone, that means your brothers, too.”
“I’m not kidding, honey.” I looked him in the eyes. “This is between you and me. You can’t tell your brothers, your classmates, anyone…until we get the official news. You can’t even hint around about it or allude to it or say anything that will cause people to guess.”
“Wouldn’t that be lying?”
“No, honey. Just don’t bring it up. And if someone else brings it up, you can simply say, ‘I haven’t got the official word yet’ and leave it at that.”
Then I wondered if the secret would be too much of a burden for him. This is why I do not burden him with details about our family finances, my political views, my age, or my weight.
Fortunately, about two hours later, we got an email from his coach that said, “Welcome to the Angels.” Subsequently we received a team roster. There was one kid on the team who he played with last year and a few others that he knew that were in the same grade.
Mainly, the fact that he was on a team that included some of his peers was fortunate for me. I had been worried about him trying up for this division because he hadn’t finished the season last year due to an injury; worried that he’d be playing (or not) alongside all older kids. What if he didn’t get much play time because this division is more competitive? Well, what if…?
I had exchanged other emails with both division coordinators where I explained that my son really wanted to play up in the next divison and that ‘we would be fine with whatever the evaluation scores determined.’ Apparently they determined that he ‘was drafted to the minors.’
I don’t ever want to be the one to tell him, “No, you can’t.” Because if you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you can’t. And he thinks he can.