Growing pains

Looking back on my childhood, I can remember many occasions where I learned some lessons about life, and what it means to be an adult. Some of these lessons were good. But I think the ones that are burned into my memory the most are the bad lessons. The ones that hurt.

That’s the way it is, right?

Today, I think, I witnessed my oldest son learning one of those lessons. Maybe he’ll forget about it. But more than likely, this will be something he keeps in his mind. I only hope it falls into the “what not to do” category instead of the “this is how grownups treat kids” mentality.

When I signed the kids up for baseball, I did it online. I found that very convenient. I do not know, had I signed them up in person, if we would have been given a packet of guidelines or not. I do know that we encountered some rules and practices that we had never done before. For example, all boys bring their own helmets. All helmets must have the face protector too.

OK. Fine.

A few weeks ago, one of the umps made Fritz give him his watch. I guess the boys aren’t allowed to wear watches during the games. Fritz has made sure to keep his watch in the car from then on. At the end of that inning, Billy reminded Fritz about the watch and the ump gave it back.

Last week, Fritz’s coach noticed his scapular. It is a unique scapular-and-rosary-combination made from a molded brown plastic. Unique, but cheap. He got it years ago when we lived in Kansas. It is blessed and he was enrolled at the time in the brown scapular. He wore it for a while, then stopped, but then started wearing it again months and months ago.

Apparently, it’s not just watches but all jewelry that is forbidden (risk of breakage). So, the coach, rightly, I suppose, took the scapular. They both forgot about it, and Fritz went home without it. I don’t know when exactly Fritz remembered it, but I do know that he came home from practice on Sunday evening upset that the coach still had it. I think he was hoping the coach would have remembered it and returned it without prompting.

At the conclusion of the game today, knowing that sometimes we adults have other things on our minds and don’t always remember the contraband necklace that we pocketed a week ago, I told Fritz to ask his coach for his scapular. The rest of us went on ahead to the van and loaded up. When Fritz joined us a minute later, he looked crushed.

“What did he say?” I asked.

“He said he didn’t take my necklace,” the poor boy replied.

As an adult, I know that the man simply forgot all about it. As a mother, though, I know how Fritz sees it: the coach stole his scapular and lied about it. It is one thing to hear about other people who do wrong things, and we did discuss this situation. It is quite another to be the victim of an injustice. This is the age where children begin to learn that adults make mistakes, they aren’t perfect, they fail you. It is, unfortunately, all part of growing up.

Tough lessons.

8 thoughts on “Growing pains

  1. Poor Fritz. I feel this way when my kids leave something somewhere (shoes or coat at practice, towel at swim team, etc.) and go back expecting to find it, only to realize it is nowhere to be found. Did someone steal it? Did someone think it got left and take it somewhere? You get the picture. I always feel horrible for them, and yet it is a lesson learned about responsibility and keeping track of your things. It's hard to stand back and let your kids learn life lessons sometimes. I hope the coach remembers at some point and gives him back the scapular.

  2. That is a tough lesson. Wouldn't you think it would have come out in coach's laundry? It's hard to be charitable in situations like that. And it's hard to go back and face the people who have disappointed you. He will have lost respect for coach and that's hard to win back.

  3. Oh, poor boy. My heart goes out to him. It is not fun to feel that you're the victim of an injustice.

  4. Poor kid… If he wears it (once he gets it back) UNDER his jersey would that help at all??
    I know my girls won't be taking them off.. My oldest had one break in her sleep and freaked out, said she was glad she didn't die in her sleep!!
    I hope St. Anthony helps the coach find it, and bring it home!

  5. That's a shame. I remember when my own kids went through the whole “if I told my friend that I could visit them before checking with you, but you told me no, then I lied to my friend” thing. Lying is a hard thing to understand.
    I hope the coach finds it and can return it.
    Failing that, since a scapular is clearly considered “jewelry” (really?!) since your kids are in sports, you might want to have them tattooed on 😉

  6. Not only did he take it, then lie about it, he also belittled the entire situation by calling it a necklace when he surely knew it was a religious article. Like Barb, I hope he finds it, remembers (if he actually forgot), and returns it with an apology. Have you considered mentioning it to the coach. I know it's tricky. You don't want the coach to take it out on your son. Still, after the season, at least, you could mention it to the administration of the program. Why aren't the kids just asked to take it off and put it away? Seems like a harsh policy.

  7. Just wondering…is the coach Catholic? If not, maybe a bit on the anti-Catholic side?

  8. Fritz normally keeps the scapular under his shirt, but sometimes the one tab sticks out in the back. Honestly, I truly believe that the coach noticed something around his neck, labeled it as jewelry, and had Fritz take it off. Fritz was likely in the field, so he couldn't have him put it in his bag, so the coach pocketed it with every intent to return it when Fritz returned to the dugout. I don't think he knew what it really was. And I really do think he completely forgot about it. I only hope that it turns up in the laundry and he realizes what it is and returns it.

    There does happen to be a sinister conversation going on in my head which is accusing the coach of all sorts of malicious thoughts and actions, but I'm really trying to ignore those voices.

    I'm also very grateful that 1) it was not a scapular of high monetary value and 2) my friend who lives down the street and who we met in Kansas and who arranged that scapular enrollment assures me that she has three extra identical scapulars at her home. She just happens to be out of town right now.

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