So - a few weeks before opening day, we received the date and schedule for the day. As luck would have it, opening day was scheduled on the same day that my baseball-obsessed middle son had signed up for an academic competition. Prior to hearing about the conflict, he was super excited about traveling for the first time to an academic competition. After hearing it was opening day, he was a wee bit conflicted and a lot bummed out.
"I want to do both, Mom!", he moaned. After some discussion, he said, "I should do the competition, Mom. I signed up for it first, and they need me to make a complete team."
I was proud of him that he came to the right decision on his own. He missed opening day, had a great time at the competition (and placed well!), and realized that the world does not revolve around sports.
We talked about it a bit during this time. . .about balance. Our son is 10 - hardly an age where one needs to lock into one activity and do it exclusively. I harbor no illusions that our children are going to be professional ball players, or that they will even play a certain sport in high school or college! Those things might happen, but I'm not gonna pin my hopes on them. Instead, we want the kids to play lots of sports at our school and in our community, try instruments, do theater, take classes - whatever interests them and is reasonable to our budget.
I have been very happy with our boys' coaches on this subject matter. I had to tell our son's coach that he had to miss opening day because of a prior commitment. I think he was disappointed they would be short a boy, but he understood. Last year, I had to tell a coach that our son couldn't attend a practice because he would be attending the Easter Vigil at our church. That coach actually validated our choice and said he fully supported putting worship before baseball - and he was really into Little League!
Balance is tough. We are heading into these murky waters with our children as they age, finding our way slowly and carefully. These years are fleeting! We continue to pray for wisdom as we help them weigh all the decisions they're making.