a place to belong
One of the most magnificent things about Maggie's Lou Fusz lacrosse experience has been that it exists outside of her school experience. And her school experience in high school is excellent--I have no fault with that.
But these have always been her people. In the sh*t years of middle school when many of the voices there were horrendous-- she had another voice, a different voice echoing her worth, whispering her value in her other ear.
And because Lou Fusz is a program which has lots of moving parts, she had clinics and those coaches; and college girls who existed as something for her to strive for; a support system of girls around the city and county who were not a part of her school who created a team she was an integral part of.
I am not a huge advocate of only sports. Sports ONLY can sometimes create an imbalance, because surely competition isn't the sum total of a child's brain.
They need the arts. Creativity. Maggie had a phenomenal middle school choir teacher who filled the desire of children to have a voice that can be exercised and heard (Truly!--singing opens up the 3rd chakra and develops an open field of communication!)
And they need summer! They need outside time, freedom. They need to sweat, to bask in sunshine, and water, and get lost in it. For that, Maggie and Will both had Brewster Day Camp on Cape Cod . Another place, entiiiiiiiiirely outside of their hometown.
Lacrosse was a sport which filled something that was uniquely Maggie--but it's not the SPORT that matters, it's something else.
When people ask me how to raise healthy kids, I tell them first and foremost--I have no idea. Truly, it's a crapshoot. But I always have a few suggestions.
1. Figure out the 3 things you do well and teach those 3 things. Don't worry about what your mom-friends teach. That isn't you and kids don't learn anything inauthentically. The world will teach the rest of what they need to know, and there is a reason God put you in charge of this soul--this soul needs what you were born to teach.
2. Teach the table. Every single thing about manners, communication, eye contact, waiting your turn to speak, listening to others, humility, patience, and health is taught at the table. Neglect anything else in your child's life--but never, ever, ever dinner at the table.
And 3. Find a place somewhere ELSE besides their school cohort where they belong.
Because there will be bad times. There will be, hear me now-->AWFUL TIMES where the voice in the collective concious of their comfortable environment starts to chafe, to pierce, to not be what it once was. When that day comes, and...sorry, young moms and dads...it will. They need a dissenting voice. A voice different than the rest.
It's not the sport, the stage, the balance beam, the free throw line. It's not the teamwork, the strategy, the discipline. All of those things teach other things to children.
What it IS is another voice, from a different direction shouting their value at them--big, bold outside voice, shouting-- in all the places and all the times they need it most. For Mags, that place was Lou Fusz and, these, her peeps.
So, do I know how to raise amazing kids? I surely don't. Mine seemed to have raised themselves. But I know how to put a foundation at their feet. I know how to love them for what they are. I know how to grab their earlobe like a BOSS (metaphorically) when they need to shut up, be nice, or slow their roll. And I know how to trust them to do the rest.