All I wanted was a place where a sweet, bright, compassionate, curious, courteous little boy could go kick a soccer ball around with some other kids. So we looked at a local soccer club sanctioned by an apparently reputable national soccer organization. We paid a few hundred dollars and were quite excited. We suited and geared up. We had a private coach for a few one-on-one sessions and continued to be excited.
Boy-oh-boy were we excited!
Then at the soccer club, day after day, practice after practice, week after week, what I got was a sweet, bright, compassionate, curious, courteous little boy who came off the field every evening with tears in his eyes – clearly distraught and disappointed.
“Poppy, I know we were in this together, but I can’t do the bullying anymore. I can’t listen to the name calling anymore. I can’t listen to the shouts of “You suck!” and “You’re such a loser” anymore. I can’t deal with those couple of guys that take my ball away and intentionally kick it over the fence.
“I’ve done what you told me. I tried to ignore them. I have asked the coach to deal with them. I know that you asked the coach to deal with them. I have tried to stay away from them on the field. I have not used my taekwondo moves with any of them. But it just keeps happening.
“I don’t think soccer is my thing …”
No, hijo, it is bullying that isn’t your thing; it is an abysmal lack of coaching skills that aren’t your thing; it is parents that are bullying assholes that aren’t your thing; it is ignorance that isn’t your thing.
Yes, we’re in this together. Thinking is your thing. Compassion is your thing. Restraint is your thing. Being kind to others and lifting them up is your thing.
No, hijo, that kind of law enforcement agency, … er, … soccer is not my thing either.