We awakened this morning to a clear blue sky and the kind of sparkly air that goes hand-in-hand with September. After the 40 degree humidex of last week, all I can say is; what a relief.
Michael, Zachary and I decided that we would celebrate the beautiful morning with a game of King of the Hill at our local tennis court. And after the past wonderful days with the boys, my hopes were high that we would have a fun hour together on the courts.
Well, unfortunately, that was not to be.
We were no more than three minutes into our game when the disagreements started; how to score the game, whose turn it was, whether the ball was in or out, and the calibre of the serves. I worked hard to help them navigate the competition but met with very little success. And so, after thirty minutes of gargantuan effort and every ounce of patience I could muster, I quietly left the court, packed up my gear and mindfully walked away.
And as I walked away, I realized that Michael and Zachary are not the only ones working on a new relationship and a new story.
My old story would have been thirty minutes of harping on the kids for their inability to cooperate. Following that, I would have stormed off the court with smoke streaming from my ears and the air around me blue with frustration. Then I would have spent the rest of the morning with my hands clenched and my stomach in knots.
Not very productive but that’s how its been.
Competition has always been a very difficult and very hot spot for Michael and Zach. As I slowly and deliberately removed myself from the tennis court this morning, I realized that it was just too soon to expect them to navigate the treacherous waters of competition. And so, rather than feeling defeated and deflated because they had had a setback, I had the opportunity to help them reflect on the fact that their tender new relationship is just not ready for that kind of push.
Michael and Zachary have worked very hard over the past eleven days to navigate their relationship in a new way and my role in it is critical to its continuing success. I cannot navigate the challenges for them but I can sure hold space for the incredible work they are so courageously doing together and champion them to not only keep it up but also to take it to the next level.