I am on my way to pick up my kids from school when I get this shocking thought that I need to reroute my normal routine and go to my 7th grader first (thank you God for being that loud about it). I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that my baby needs me. Its the last day of basketball try outs and he is incredibly good at basketball (following in the footsteps of his older brothers who have made basketball a way of life for all of us). This one, however, is struggling with his math grades lately and I was worried that it would be a problem. At this point, the feeling of him needing me was just overwhelming and I was really worried, out of the blue!
I finally arrive at the school and I'm looking around for my son when all the sudden...all the way down at the other end of the school I see my baby sitting on the ground with his head in his knees and he lifts up his head and sees me and gets up and even though there are other kids around, he cannot hold it in...he's crying his little heart out. ~instant heartbreak~
My thoughts are racing! There is no way he didn't make it! I have to hide the hurt and shock on my face and go straight into cuddle and comfort mode for a few minutes before making the "we will work on it and try again next year" switch. My oldest son is 19 and we have been doing basketball since he was 5. The first few years it was pay to play but the rest of these years have been try outs and he, along with my other 2 boys have never been cut. And my Jessie is such a strong basketball player. The problem is that he is tiny! He is short and very skinny. Ok so gather the thoughts....he's opening the door.....
"I don't understand mama, I just don't understand! I gave it my best and I played my heart out on that court. I didn't miss any shots and I showed that I am an aggressive player....I don't understand" he said with tears pouring down his face! I put my arms around him and told him he was going to be ok. I said, "I'm sorry baby! I know how bad you wanted this and I wont pretend to know why he cut you but we will take whatever reason he gave you and we will work on it and try again next year. I promise you will get stronger in any areas of weakness and next year you will be ready." We drove away and I saw the faces of all the poor boys who didn't make it. Normally, I am making sure that my boys aren't smiling too big or acting over excited until we leave the school grounds because normally, those are they friends that are crying because they were cut and this time my poor baby was one of them.
I immediately sent out a group text ~secretly~ to the rest of my kids letting them know what was going on. We were on our way to pick up my daughter who was waiting at her best friends house (and this best friend also happens to be the older sister of Jessie's best friend who actually made the team). She got in the car and gave Jessie a hug and said she was sorry and he just kept crying. Meanwhile, my older son is face-timing and saying that he doesn't believe us..."its a joke" he just kept saying and I finally yelled at him and hung up because he was making it harder on Jessie. He kept crying that he didn't want to face his brothers because they would be so disappointed in him for being the only "Khahil to get cut". I tried to tell him that EVERYONE knows that Jessie's skill is amazing and he should be on that team and no one is upset or disappointed in him but instead just frustrated with the coach who cut him. In all honesty, I have always had an issue with this coach! He was once the coach of Ku, Zak, Zabe and Kayla and I have never like him. He is a horrible coach! No I'm not just saying that because he cut my son lol. I'm not one of those parents. He really is bad! Has a horrible record and really doesn't have any knowledge of the game of basketball. He knows a few plays but he doesn't understand all the rules and it results in a lot of embarrassing situations for the kids on the team.
AH HAH!! I will blame it all on the coach! Jessie has heard all of the parents talk over the years about what a moron this guy was. I teach my kids to respect their elders that is for sure but behind closed doors, we are allowed to talk about what's really going on so for sure Jessie would feel confident that he IS good enough for the team but the coach is too dumb to see that, right? Great spin!
Later that night, Jessie's tears were a bit less. He had friend after friend calling him to tell him how unfair it was and that he should be on that team. All of his friends who made the team were calling him and telling him they love him and that he deserved to be on that team and how sorry they were. He did really good! He genuinely congratulated them and told them it was ok...he would be ok. Kumayl however, was a different story. The more time went by that night, the more angry he was. He made a call to the coach who didn't answer and so he sent an email. He basically said that he didn't understand why the coach didn't give Jessie any valid reason as to why he was cut and he would greatly appreciate that criticism because he wanted to make sure he knew what Jessie's "weaknesses" were so that he could work with him to help him improve for next years team ~ who will be coached by someone else, thank God~. The coach replied to Kumayl but didn't offer any reasons, just said that he read his email and then asked Jessie if he wanted to talk and Jessie said no so that was that. Ku then decided to take it to the athletic director. He emailed him explaining that he asked Coach for a reason and wasn't given any. He explained that Jessie is a very sensitive kid and was very embarrassed and ashamed that he didn't make it and that's why he wouldn't talk to anyone about it but all he was asking for was a reason so that he could help him improve since Jessie looks up to him after his successful basketball career. He is waiting for a reply.
This is far from over for my poor Jessie. He is going to have to really suck this up and just keep working. His best friend isn't going to be able to hang out all the time anymore because he will be at practice. Every game day will be a challenge because he wants so desperately to be a part of it and I don't think he will be a good spectator at this point so I'm sure its going to be a tough season. I am proud of my kids for pulling through for Jessie and immediately going out and working with him at the hoop. Jessie felt very happy that Kumayl had his back and was trying so hard to get answers for him. Zak, who actually made the JV basketball team the same day Jessie was cut, downplayed his excitement and Jessie later thanked him for being so sensitive to him and then congratulated him for making the team.
If you're not part of a sports family then you probably think its a ridiculous thing to be so upset over this but for these kids, its a HUGE deal!
The silver lining in this....
My kids love each other and I absolutely love how they always pull through for each other. I've actually done a good job as these kids mothers.