I'm going to post this because I just want to get it off my chest. I coached a coach pitch team this summer and we weren't very good. In fact, after winning our opener we lost our last ten games and then went out in the first round of the playoffs. Our league had seven teams and, as is typical in a small town, all of the coaches know each other and get along well.
Once the season ended the league champion requested players for the 8-year old all star team. My team was full of 7-year olds and a couple of 9-year olds. The only 8-year olds were my son and another boy. My son is far from a great baseball player (he's much better at basketball) but loves to be part of the team and, in truth, did make a lot of progress this season. I nominated him for the all-star team in part to get experience playing against better players and to get to experience a few victories. Plus, it would allow him a chance to hear other coaching voices beyond his own father.
Today was the first practice. While the kids were warming up the head coach met with all parents, discussed costs, the number of tournaments, etc. The cost wasn't prohibitive but the number of tournaments seemed to be too much for me. He said we would play six consecutive weekends, with pool play (typically three games) on Saturday and then bracket play on Sunday.
I spoke with my wife after practice and before our evening church services. We discussed whether the commitment was too much. We discussed if the improvements he would make would be worth the time away from other things he loves. He'd have to give up lots of time at his grandparents' pool. He'd have to give up short trips with his dad and movies with his mom. And he'd have to miss church almost constantly for a month and a half.
We decided it was too much. After church this evening I asked him if he was willing to give up all of the fun he has in the summer for baseball. I'll admit I might have slanted my questioning but he fairly quickly said he'd rather do the other stuff and give up the all-star team. I told him that was fine.
Here's the final part: my 85-year old grandmother is in the nursing home with Alzheimer's and Hospice care was called in to begin treatment this weekend. She doesn't have a ton of time here on earth but she's okay with that and talks openly of wanting to see her sister in heaven. My son visits her once a week in the nursing home and the time together has been good for both of them.
However, he has no idea how to process death and has never experienced the loss of anyone close beyond a couple of church members. When we discussed the all-star team tonight he broke down in tears, partially because of not joining the team but also because he's struggling with his great-grandmother's impending death. It was tough to deal with.
So my question is, was taking him off the team the right thing to do? I know he would have liked (not necessarily loved) being part of the club, but I'd hate to think he was manning right field on some random ball field when his grandmother passed away. Our family is very close and I want to enjoy all of the time I can with him. Am I wrong in thinking that the best use of our time together, and with others, isn't wiling away countless weekends for the rest of the summer?