I am often humbled by the wisdom of my 13 year old son, a boy who came out of the womb with a football in one hand and a baseball glove on the other. Since the age of 4 he’s been throwing, catching, hitting or kicking a ball with other kids – on and off the formal field of play. He gets what team work is all about.
Last week after one of his football games, he was telling me how the team was going to have “opportunity” the next morning because two of his teammates were fighting after practice the day before. To clarify, “opportunity” is punishment, often in the form of non-stop running, bleachers, burpees and any other cruel and unusual physical test of stamina. The boys loathe it and as a result it is a good deterrent of unwanted behavior among them.
So, I asked my son who was fighting. He told me the whole story with disgust because of the resulting “opportunity”. Unlike other times when they’ve had “opportunity” this time they actually knew who was responsible for it.
So I asked him why, if the coaches knew who exactly was involved in the fight and how it started, then did all of them have to be subjected to “opportunity”. At that point my baby boy looked at me with wisdom far beyond mine and one of those teenage scowls that chastised my ignorance, and said, “Because Mom, we’re a team!” Nothing else needed to be said.
Once again, I was trumped by the wisdom of my child. A simple tenant of team work: all for one, one for all; in good times and in bad. How easy we forget.