When we were little, what did it mean when we were picked last by our classmates for a round of baseball, basketball or beloved kickball? I just can't recall. I figure I was either so obnoxiously popular that it never, ever, in the span of 10+ years, happened to me. Or it was so heartwrenchingly, agonizingly, traumatizing that I've pushed the experience into the recesses of my muddled mind. Let's go with that first reason, shall we?
Based on what I've seen on television (and we know how realistic that is), the last one picked for the team is always the nerdy, smelly, socially-awkward, overweight, shy kid, who doesn't really want to play anyway. At least they act like they don't want to play (smart defensive move, if you ask me).
If this imitates real life, then I am truly at a loss for why my kid was picked last for two recent games she played at our local YMCA. Afterall, she is none of those things...except shy. OK, maybe even
a little nerdy. But certainly not the least athletic. It didn't matter that she was the fastest one around the gym, or the only one who didn't cheat doing the exercises, or the one with great running form thanks to all these months of track practice, or that she was the tallest one out there. Shocker - it didn't even matter that one of the young team leaders had just told me 10 minutes prior, "you're daughter is good at this." What?! If she's so good, what took you so long to choose her for your team?!
There I sat on the sidelines, while the two misguided team leaders chose their players. Oh, how glorious it must feel to be picked first. The chosen one. The golden child. From what I can tell, that's usually going to be the biggest, loudest kid around. And like it or not, it's usually going to be a boy. I'm cool with that. Hey, I'd probably pick him over my own kid too, even if he was incredibly annoying and not following directions. I'll give them that one. But then you're also going to pick the kid who always came in last running down the court, before you pick my kid? And you're going to pick the one who made an excuse to go to the bathroom or the water fountain everytime they had to do a new exercise, before you pick my kid?
WHAT is it? Because she's skinniest? Because she's tallest? Because she's quietest? Because she's (gasp!) the only brown child?
I gotta tell you, because I figure I can be honest with you - it sucks! It's painful to watch your child be..."un-wanted!" And I was mad. I feel silly confessing to this now, but I instaneously disliked each of those LAME kids who would dare pass over my darling daughter. Irrational? What can I say. Mama bear doesn't just protect her kids from physical injury. She protects them from ego-injury too.
Except my kid didn't care. Nope. Not one bit. Didn't even phase her that she was the last straggly one standing there. So, apparently it was my issue, and I was going to have to be resentful of those other brats all by myself. I guess that's a good thing. Her ego remained intact. Mine, on the other hand...