Lying in bed a few nights ago, chatting with my girl about her day, she confided that recess was sometimes tough, because lots of the kids were playing kickball and it wasn’t like how it’s played in gym. They change the rules as they go, there’s yelling and so on. You guessed it, the typical playground pick up game. It changes dynamic when you don’t have a gym teacher as director. B mentioned that she likes kickball in gym, but she’s too afraid to play in the recess games, because if she screws up, she’ll be embarassed and yelled at. We talked about possible solutions, my contribution being that we would work on practicing in our yard that next day, so she could feel more confident. I also told her my neat little trick of laughing at myself first, when I screw up, so that it doesn’t really feel all that painful if anyone else laughs. We also talked about the possiblity of pulling in a few other “new” to kickball kids, so that she wouldn’t be the only fresh face. All this wrapped up with, the closing statement that she didn’t have to play, but now she had the tools to participate if she felt inclined. She mentioned that she’d started to a few times, but always backed down. My girly is not ultra-competitive about team sports-she does NOT like yelling on any level. It’s something she’s not really familiar with, thank God.
Driving home a couple days later, I asked how recess went and she casually said, “Oh I played kickball today”. The look on my face must have been priceless. “What? Already???”. “Well Mom, N was on the swings and he looked really bored, so I said hey, do you want to play kickball with me? And he did, so we took a ball and started playing and these other kids came over and I said that we could have a group that plays and is learning the rules and stuff. Then the Coach that helps N out during recess time came over and gave us some instructions and tips! We all had lots of fun and N was so happy that knows how to play kickball now!”. I can’t help it. I cried. N is a little boy who has had a rough year and a tough time fitting in and B always tries to include him with the group. How wonderful it must have been for him to be part of this new fun kickball team!
My girl one-upped me. I never thought of starting her OWN kickball group. This is what she does. She sees social injustice and she acts on it. She sees a need and she feels it. This girl is a do-er. And I’m so very proud she’s mine.