“They told me they were signing me up for soccer and when I showed up, it was baseball…so now they tell me I need to come to all these practices and games. They keep saying ‘you made a commitment’ and I say, ‘no, YOU made a commitment.”
#dugoutmom meet #childlawyer.
Tidbits of truth from the mouth of my 7 year old.
But just tidbits.
In any other courtroom, the evidence would exonerate me. Cross-examination would back my case. I’d be acquitted without question.
But in the court of law where #childlawyer runs the show, my best hope is 15 to life.
And he has already won over The Honorable #dugoutmom.
Somewhere between mutually-agreed-upon online registration and the day of tryouts, the story got rewritten. Suddenly, we were the parents who made him play. We were dragging him from his otherwise perfect life to stand in the blazing hot sun and have round hard things thrown at his face. He was a baseball prisoner to the meanest parents on earth.
The story had gotten a bit jumbled.
It has to be tough being born a soccer kid to baseball parents. When he was T-minus one month away from making our family a #partyof3, we were busy painting a mural of a baseball diamond on our basement wall.
He visited 4 major league ballparks from the comfort of the womb.
His first photo shoot took place in the web of a first basemen’s glove.
His middle name is Fielder.
It was the perfect setup for his life as a baseball player.
Or the perfect setup for my life as a soccer mom. (Parents don’t write the script. More likely, we inspire the spin-off.)
It didn’t matter how much Dennis and I loved the game, how many times we dressed him in adorable Red Sox onesies or that the only song we taught him as a toddler was Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
The kid fell in love with soccer and that is where his passion went.
It didn’t matter that he was loading his baseball equipment in the car or that the calendar said ‘baseball tryouts.’ He was intent on playing soccer, so he missed the normal cues. He showed up to batting practice with a heart set on corner kicks.
Stories get a bit jumbled when passion is involved.
I know mine do.
It’s hard to set aside passion to see things as they are.
I make up a lot of sob stories in arenas where I’m passionate. Especially when my passion is being hindered or forced out of the picture.
Sometimes there are even sympathetic #dugoutmoms to hear my case. I can be rather convincing.
In her book, Rising Strong, Brené Brown describes what she calls “Rumbling”(getting honest with ourselves about “the stories we tell ourselves.”)
“The goal of the rumble is to get honest about the stories we’re making up about our struggles,
to revisit, challenge, and reality-check these narratives as we dig into topics such as
boundaries, shame, blame, resentment, heartbreak, generosity, and forgiveness.” (77).
“Our brains reward us with dopamine when we recognize and complete patterns.
Stories are patterns.
The brain recognizes the familiar beginning-middle-end structure of a story
and rewards us for clearing up the ambiguity.
Unfortunately, we don’t need to be accurate, just certain” (79).
Our brains can’t handle uncertainty, so they gap-fill. And I’m quite the creative wonder for the job. I gap-fill stories at an alarming rate. Even to the point where I believe the story with all my heart.
Gap-fillers: what I think others are thinking, why someone did what they did, shame, what’s going to happen next, assumptions, expectations, and the list goes on. Piecing together stories is natural, but anything not factual reality is a gap-filler.
A complete-but-inaccurate story still gives my brain what it wants.
Inaccuracy sneaks by like a ninja.
The casualties of an inaccurate story end up being my relationships, my reactions, my decisions and/or my authentic self.
When I feel strongly about something, I’m more intent on removing uncertainty. Passion puts me on the fast track for gap-filling stories. So, awareness is key.
Because passion is a powerful fuel, it must not be allowed to mishandle the story. A mishandled story makes for a grumpy batsman donning shin guards.