I have a reputation with a few of my friends as a tough mom. One even refers to me as Mama McCumby to her children and this evokes fear in them because of stories she’s shared with them. The stories are mostly the creative punishments that occurred in my house. Not beatings, but punishments that fit the crime. Christmas gifts aren’t even safe if the boys go too far.
It was Merrick’s birthday and that night he had his first basketball game of the season. The team jumped out on to the court with a mission. At the half the game took a turn and they were not longer winning. The spread in the score kept growing until Merrick, who was on the bench at the time, said to the coach in front of his teammates,
“Can you put me, Levi and Jonathan is so we can win!”
There are a lot of good people on his team and everyone has their faults. There are a few who have more of a knack for the game, but I just realized there’s an inflated ego in the gym that needs to be popped. Someone who’s in need of being pushed off the horse or pedestal.
Send mom in as a sub.
His teammates looked at him and said he was being rude. I got down to his level and told him he was being arrogant and rude to his teammates and for making that comment he was now benched for the rest of the game. After the game he pouted his way out of the gym and into the car. I was out for the kill though and wanted him to really understand how disappointed I was so I played Always Be Humble and Kind. Before the first verse was done he was sobbing.
2 points for mom.
When we got home he went straight to the shower and into bed. I went to tuck him in and listened to his explanation and he had to listen to mine. We were silent for a moment and I told him that Scott and I decided he was going to apologize to the whole team at the beginning of the next practice. He begged and pleaded for us to change our minds. Nope.
The best part about this story is that on his own he sought out his teammates at school and apologized individually. He admitted that he missed a couple of people so he planned to still speak at practice. I asked him if he knew what he was going to say and he said he did. The coach gathered everyone to talk about the game and toward the end Merrick formally apologized to his teammates for his words and explained he was frustrated but that he’s learned the meaning of a team and swore he wouldn’t say anything like that again.
Three pointer at the buzzer.
Man, we’re making some good boys. I can only hope teaching them these lessons early on saves them from tougher ones later. His Christmas gifts are safe for now.