Yes, my daughter is one of those little girls running around in pink shirts.
Earlier this year, she decided she wanted to be a part of the "Little Brahmanettes." It's the school's way of encouraging youngsters to participate in and support extra-curricular athletics.
My eldest wants to play volleyball and tennis. Her choice. I support her and am hoping she chooses to keep athletics as a part of her schooling. I personally believe such things are valuable teaching tools for life. Too often we try to remove the ideas of winning and losing in our lives today. Too often we try to remove adversity. You simply cannot do that with athletics. And I am glad for that. It is only in the imagination where winning and losing does not exist. It is only in the imagination where disappointment and failure does not exist. The sooner one learns to deal with such facts, the better. The sooner one learns coping mechanisms to deal with loss, failure, and overcoming disappointment, the better. Learning that to give one's all and still lose carries no shame is one of life's most important lessons, in my estimation.
I see my kids now trying to cope with such things--even in family life. If something doesn't go their way, their egos get bruised a little. I've heard them yell, "It's not fair!" numerous times. I tell them, they are correct. I try to soothe their pain a little, but I do not try to remove it. It teaches them a lesson.
The avoidance of pain, in my estimation, is one of the things most wrong with our current culture. We try to make it go away at all costs. But discomfort is a great motivator. It makes one move and seek out places where there is less pain. Discomfort is also a great teacher. It helps us learn to avoid certain behaviors. My daughter can attest to that. She only ignored a waiter's instructions to not touch a hot plate once. It also can tell us we are growing--growing pains, soreness after exercise. When we try to avoid pain at all costs, we cost ourselves dearly in the long run.
I have no doubt that if my daughter continues her desire to play volleyball, there will be pain. But there will also be opportunity to teach, to learn, and to become prepared for life's lessons. I will not hesitate to encourage her, teach her, and cheer her on with reckless abandon.
Perhaps one of these days my "Little Brahmanette" will be a full fledged Brahmanette. Schedules will have to be rearranged. Other items will be put on the back burner. I will probably complain at times, but the payoff should be worth it.