Community involvement does not fix everything, but man, does it go a long way toward growth for our kiddos.
Life with my middle schooler has had more than its fair share of mouth almighty moments. To me, those are the hardest to navigate, since he chooses to mouth off when he has an audience. It's very easy to catch him misbehaving, thus. It's also harder to parent meaningfully while ignoring 'helpful' parental input from people who have no idea what larger context surrounds a publicly mouthy moment.
Harder, realizing the greater strides he makes quietly, without fanfare. Praying with his team before basketball games; watching the game intently from the sidelines, cheering key plays from his team (wasn't this the same kid lying on the bench and staring into space less than two months ago?); tying his shoes (thanks, wrestling); running the snack stand at Pinewood Derby....this is a short list. This is expected behavior from an almost 13 year old..
And this is the behavior of MY almost 13 year old.
And I find that he now has a nickname on his wrestling team--the same nickname his dad had in middle and high school.
So much farther we need to go, yet astounding how far we've come. Wrestling and basketball will end soon; track will start up again shortly thereafter. He's down 10 pounds and in better shape than he's ever been. Just need to keep building on this framework.
My little guy enjoys his music and scouts--and won his second trophy in Pinewood Derby this past weekend.
Nobody ever said it would be easy. But the payoffs are blowing me away.
Just keep swimming.