Did I actually have a PARENTING moment?

I think Princess Punk may have actually heeded my advice.

I am still in shock.

After catching her in the second half of a home game last week, the first time I’ve actually seen her play, I was… Less than impressed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those parents who gets all pissy when their kid sucks at something. In fact, I could honestly give a shit how skilled the kid is at something. My problem with her performance?

She wasn’t.

Performing that is. She wasn’t trying. Like, at all. Like she could have been standing in the middle of the court texting and she would have been doing more than she was actually doing in the game.

And it made me so sad.

Because the kid is gifted. Any sport she tries, if she actually tries, she is good at it. The same with anything artistic. I think it probably has something to do with spatial-visual-hand-eye-coordination. Or something. I’m not being all “omigodmychildisthebestateverythingshedoes.” She struggles with math, her spelling is AWFUL and her attention, organizational skills, speaking skills and ability to concentrate all… Need some work. But sports? Drawing? Music? She is effing amazing. I’m jealous. Honestly I am jealous of my 13 year old daughter. Because not only does she have this natural ability for anything physical, she has the interest and the physique to match. The one good thing the sperm donor gave her was his rather phenomenal body structure. She is muscular and strong and doesn’t injure easily.  And she likes sports. She is a total tomboy (stink and all) and she’d much prefer going to play soccer than to go shopping.

Here’s the thing…

Because she has all this natural talent, stuff kinda comes easy to her. At least at first. And then, when she actually starts having to put in some effort to keep up, she quits. With soccer, it was only a brief issue. Because she’s been playing about 6-8 months out of the year with Summer, Spring and Indoor soccer along with a week-long intense soccer camp in late summer since kindergarten, the “Hump,” when she had to graduate from doing well without effort to having to actually work for it was gradual and she overcame it within a month or so. Basketball? She went 2 years without playing at all. So when she started up again this year, she was behind her peers. And she gave up. Which led to the pissy blow-up last week and her apparent complete lack of giving a shit during the game.

And I get it. I understand where she’s at because I’ve done the same damn thing my whole life. Not with sports or arts obviously but with academics. Because I am wicked smart. So I didn’t have to try very hard in school for a long time. And when stuff started getting hard, I stopped working. And because of that, things were A LOT more difficult later when I actually wanted to apply my intelligence to something useful, like say, earning a living.

And I explained this to her.

After the game, on our way to My Mom’s house, I told her how sad it made me to see her not even try. Because I know she can be awesome if she just tries. I told her how much I wished I had half of her physical abilities and how I got it, I got why it was so easy to just say “eff it” and quit when stuff started getting a little tough. And she gave me the standard “What-ever Mom” Princess Punk/typical teenager look. And she said “Okay Mom.” And that was it.

And I figured it was ignored and brushed aside like so many of the other things I tell her.

But today, she had another home game. I was actually able to watch the whole thing this time. And you know what?

She busted her freaking ass. She ran fast and was aggressive and got a whole shit-load of rebounds and really played. Well. And apparently she has been working hard in practice and she even hit a 3-pointer at the away game this weekend. Pretty much ever since I talked to her.

Did it actually sink in? Or is this just some weird random coincidence and I’m just getting my hopes up that I might, possibly, maybe, gotten through to my teenage daughter to actually teach her something. Maybe.

Fingers crossed…


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