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Child sacrificing for this mother


redsox22
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Hi all,

 

I am not sure what I am looking for here except maybe some understanding and a different perspective. My son is a senior in high school. He is has been on the wrestling team for the past 3 years, starting as a sophomore. He is very athletic and when he sets his mind to something he is very determined. He has worked hard over the last 3 years to really make a name for himself and has become one of the better wrestlers on his team and a co-captain this year. He has been training in the off season as well during the season and it really shows this year.

 

I am getting married in early March. It just came to our attention a few weeks ago that the state wrestling tournament is scheduled for the weekend of the wedding, which is in another state. He can't attend both events. The way to get to the State tournament is to compete at the county level, then regional level and then state level. He is ranked very highly for his weight class and it extremely probable that he would make it the State tournament.

 

Unbeknownst to me, he gave up his spot to another senior wrestler who is also very good but who wouldn't be competing at the county level, and therefore not at the regional or state level. This other wrestler wouldn't be competing because there is someone else on the team who is better and only one wrestler from each weight class gets to compete. This other wrestler would have to cut some weight to move down to my son's weight class but is able to do so and therefore would be qualified to compete in place of my son.

 

My son spoke with both his coach and this other wrestler about what he wanted to do and they agreed. He feels that since he can't attend both events, he is choosing to attend the wedding and that he wants this other boy to have the chance to compete, especially since he is a senior and this is his last chance to make it to the State tournament. They have been friends since 6th grade and they are both passionate about wrestling. He is being very generous and selfless.

 

I am so very proud of my son for his generosity and maturity. I truly am! I am also devastated that my son is sacrificing something so important to him and something towards which he has worked very hard for the past 3 year. He will not get this opportunity again. I know he is making this choice for me. I would never ask this of him and he knows that too.

 

I just can't stop feeling absolutely terrible about him sacrificing this for me. I have always been his biggest supporter and have cheered him on through the highs and lows over the years. As any mother would want, I want the world for him! I don't want him to be limited by me in any way! He has worked so hard and now he will never how how far he could have taken his wrestling career.

 

I know he is being mature and generous and becoming the kind of man I have always hoped he would grow into. And yet, I feel so sad that he has been put in the position to make this sacrifice and I am really hurting inside.

 

Any words of wisdom??

Edited by redsox22
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The best life lessons are often the most challenging.

One question. Is there a career or a scholarship at stake here? Because if there isn't, then just be comfortable with this decision.

You've raised a good son. A majority might have done the same, but not without a little bit of guilt trip or second guessiong.

Your son's decision came from a good place and if he has no regrets, you shouldn't either.

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I'm gonna be honest with you. For one, sectional and regional competitions don't just pop up in a random season and generally are consistent pretty much to the week every year. All it takes is a Google search for your state's high school athletic association schedules for this year, or even last year's as a reference. Ultimately, should he be the one to print it out and stick it on the fridge? Yeah, I'd say so, and that's a lesson learned for his part. But it really doesn't take an abundance of involvement or interest to take some initiative making yourself vaguely aware as well.

 

As much as I'm not the biggest fan of a lot of the ethics behind it, excelling in high school athletics are for many the key to 1) college at all and 2) college without a mountain of debt. I won't assume your financial situation relative to his prospective admission, but insofar as he may aspire to independently and affordably make his way through college, I'd really avoid scheduling significant life events during or in proximity to what are common knowledge or easily searchable competitive events that would allow him to improve his rankings and, even better, get scouted. Ideally, probably don't schedule them during the school year at all if you can avoid it. Even if he's got training camp, there's typically going to be enough time in the summer to traverse.

 

I don't say it to pull the legs off a spider. There's nothing either of you can do about it now, and I'll definitely echo the others commending his decision. I think anyone would be proud. He may very well have other opportunities. And really, assuming he indeed would be destined to fill out a FASFA and apply for grants just like everyone else, it'd probably be easier for him to look back and chalk it up to never knowing on account of making the right decision to be there for his mother than if he were to get bested in front of a crowd during regionals. Guess my biggest takeaways would be:

 

1. Realize what you no longer have control over and forgive yourself.

2. Enjoy your wedding

3. Give the bartender a nod just once when your son goes up for a soda refill (Obviously, I'm kidding... kinda)

4. Just be a bit more cognizant of the very general seasonal structure of commitments he's passionate about and which could have a very tangible impact on his future

 

Again not being an ass just for the sake of it. Just a bit believer in not leaving a lesson to waste if there's one to be learned. Sincere congrats on both your upcoming wedding and, at least by this account, having raised a very fine young man.

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To be honest, it would be tough to be in your shoes as a mom and to know that you child had to sacrifice like this.

I mean, a wedding is one day,...what are the chances of it being RIGHT when your child had something really important on that day too?

 

I think any mother would feel guilt...how could you not?

 

But yes, in the future, if at all possible, try to check all dates BEFORE setting a final date, to make sure it works for everyone. It's a harsh lesson but hopefully one that won't be forgotten.

 

Your son does sound very selfless. It's a admirable trait.

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Sorry but I have to echo Jman here. Unless you have the means to fund his college, this is a terrible decision on his part. You don't get cookies in college admissions because you chose mommy over competing in athletics, especially senior year. That's a different kind of a life lesson and one he needs to understand.

 

Also, not sure from your post whether you really feel bad or are just bragging. Your wedding is just a party. His college admissions have life long consequences. Be a better parent and tell him to compete. I also find it difficult to believe that you just had no idea his competitive schedule would conflict like that. Competitions like that tend to be scheduled over the same week/weekend year after year. Exact date might vary some but overall, if you are as involved as you claim, you should have known better.

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It was his choice and decision. Your baby boy is a man now, redsox22. Even though you feel sad about his sacrifice, be proud of him the boy you raised to become A MAN. He sounds mature beyond his years, very selfless, empathetic and I say to you from one mother to another mother, "Job well done."

 

With your son's incredibly high character and morals firmly established thanks to YOU, rest assured that he will continue to thrive in his own right. He's an upstanding man who will succeed on his own in this world.

 

Transform your sadness into motherly pride and your son possessing something rare called integrity.

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Is it possible for him to reverse this decision?

 

I wonder that too.

 

Maybe it's just how I was raised and my experiences, but life gives enough challenges that can call for genuine sacrifice for your family. Weddings aren't one of them. My mom would have been annoyed at me if I tried to use wedding plans as an excuse to throw away years of hard work and an opportunity earned from that. It's a wedding, not someone struggling for their life or a real emergency.

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Thank you to all who have replied. I appreciate all the viewpoints.

 

To clarify a few things: a college scholarship or acceptance into college is not on the line. There is nothing after States. It’s just the satisfaction of making it that far.

 

This is the first year he has qualified for post season tournaments and to be honest it was not on my radar when we set the date because he never made it this far before. The strides he has made this season as a result of his hard work have been amazing. Should I have thought about the possibility of him going this far, maybe, probably. But it wasn’t on my radar until the season started this winter and he started to really shine. By then it was too late.

 

I have told him he should not sacrifice for me. I have told him he should go to the tournaments.

 

He told me he has decided. He says he wants to put family and the wedding first.

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Thank you to all who have replied. I appreciate all the viewpoints.

 

To clarify a few things: a college scholarship or acceptance into college is not on the line. There is nothing after States. It’s just the satisfaction of making it that far.

 

This is the first year he has qualified for post season tournaments and to be honest it was not on my radar when we set the date because he never made it this far before. The strides he has made this season as a result of his hard work have been amazing. Should I have thought about the possibility of him going this far, maybe, probably. But it wasn’t on my radar until the season started this winter and he started to really shine. By then it was too late.

 

I have told him he should not sacrifice for me. I have told him he should go to the tournaments.

 

He told me he has decided. He says he wants to put family and the wedding first.

 

I think he made the right decision.

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Thank you to all who have replied. I appreciate all the viewpoints.

 

To clarify a few things: a college scholarship or acceptance into college is not on the line. There is nothing after States. It’s just the satisfaction of making it that far.

This is the first year he has qualified for post season tournaments and to be honest it was not on my radar when we set the date because he never made it this far before. The strides he has made this season as a result of his hard work have been amazing. Should I have thought about the possibility of him going this far, maybe, probably. But it wasn’t on my radar until the season started this winter and he started to really shine. By then it was too late.

 

I have told him he should not sacrifice for me. I have told him he should go to the tournaments.

 

He told me he has decided. He says he wants to put family and the wedding first.

If you think universities aren't sending their scouts to State competitions, that's insane. Even regionals. It is most definitely not just satisfaction to be earned. Especially if he were to qualify as someone who started as a sophomore, you can guarantee he'd have eyes on him.

 

And to add:

 

He is has been on the wrestling team for the past 3 years, starting as a sophomore. He is very athletic and when he sets his mind to something he is very determined. He has worked hard over the last 3 years to really make a name for himself

I mean, I can [maybe?] fathom if, being real with yourself, you and the whole neighborhood knew your kid is just a crap wrestler. But not even entertaining the idea your own progeny who you claim is very athletic, determined, and has worked hard these past three years might progress to States or even just initial county-level qualifying is truly baffling to me. Like are you watching him go through all this and just thinking, "that's adorable?" You don't have to be one of those parents who vicariously and abusively pushes their kid in excess to be happily prepared should he excel. "This is the regular season and this is when qualifying tournaments are afterward" really isn't a whole lot to factor in when making something like wedding plans.

 

While we're all here calling him a great young man, he isn't a man. He's a son and teenage dependent; definitely not nearly as capable of responsible decision making as we're ceremoniously giving him credit for. You can't force him onto the bus, but I certainly hope you went far beyond "you shouldn't do this" and both expressly and assertively emphasized how much more it would mean to you personally for him to participate in the competition than for him to give up the opportunity. And that's at the bare minimum. Whether we colloquially refer to him as a man or not, he still needed and needs a parent and a leader more than a bunch of anonymous admirers on a forum. His decision is heart-warming on its face, but at the end of the day, it's still a child needlessly sacrificing well beyond what should be expected and what's needed. It brings a tear to our eye now, but we'll just as readily be ****ting on him in a couple years when his girlfriend's here posting about how much of a self-sacrificing momma's boy he is.

 

Again, I'm not trying to proverbially curb stomp anyone. If it's done, it's done. I just really hope you take in the significance and use the lesson as motivation to truly invest effort, interest, and especially hope in his passion and goals. Bottom line is this is a decision he shouldn't have been in a position to make. But you'll have plenty more opportunity as he enters young adulthood.

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I hear you jman. He is a kid who has worked hard and done very well for himself. And I never wanted him to be in a position to have to choose something like this. He is very good and would most likely progress to States. But he is not at the level to compete in college. He knows this, his coach knows this. You can argue this point but it’s pointless and not what this post is about.

 

I have had several conversations with him over the past few days and he is very clear on my position of wanting him to compete. He is also very clear that he wants to go to the wedding. He told me tonight that when he looks back on this down the road he will he happy he chose to be with family and attend the wedding.

 

I feel sad that I didn’t plan better. I feel sad that he is in the position to sacrifice. That is why I’ve posted.

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Honestly, you say "he is not college level" as far as wrestling. He was going to state championship. My cousin was not a high ranking enough player when you considered kids at bigger schools to get a huge football contract at a big 10 school, but football helped him get in the door at a smaller school that he would not otherwise got into. You never know what kids get noticed.

 

I do think you should have chosen another wedding date. You put him in an impossible position, actually. If he didn't go to the wedding, he may be viewed differently by his new step family and get off on the wrong foot, and also not be there for his mom, and on the other hand, how often does going to the state championship as a senior etc, happen. A kid that did that his senior even if he doesn't get on the college team looks better than the kid who slacked off his senior year.

 

On the other hand, a relative's kid and husband missed a family wedding because they had a ball game. They are in 5th grade and middle school. missing one game doesn't really mean a hill of beans.

 

you can't work around every guest but your parents and children should be considered.

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Of course parents and children should be considered. As I said, it wasn’t on my radar. He’d never made it past regular season the last 2 years. Should it have been on my radar. Arguably yes. And I feel badly it wasn’t. But I didn’t disregard it and chose the date anyway.

 

I didn’t think past the regular season because that’s where it has historically ended for him and I didn’t really know about post season.

 

And college recruiting happens in 11th grade or earlier. Not March of senior year. It just doesn’t. Were he to win the State championship maybe, but that is not likely to happen. Making it to States would the reward.

 

 

Anyway, it’s hard for me. It’s hard for him. The decision has been made by him. He made the decision on his own and spoke to his friend who he gave his spot to and his coach. He wants to stand by his decision.

 

It hurts me that he had to make a choice. It hurts me that it’s because of me. I’m proud of him though and I have a lot of respect for him.

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Of course parents and children should be considered. As I said, it wasn’t on my radar. He’d never made it past regular season the last 2 years. Should it have been on my radar. Arguably yes. And I feel badly it wasn’t. But I didn’t disregard it and chose the date anyway.

 

I didn’t think past the regular season because that’s where it has historically ended for him and I didn’t really know about post season.

 

And college recruiting happens in 11th grade or earlier. Not March of senior year. It just doesn’t. Were he to win the State championship maybe, but that is not likely to happen. Making it to States would the reward.

 

 

Anyway, it’s hard for me. It’s hard for him. The decision has been made by him. He made the decision on his own and spoke to his friend who he gave his spot to and his coach. He wants to stand by his decision.

 

It hurts me that he had to make a choice. It hurts me that it’s because of me. I’m proud of him though and I have a lot of respect for him.

 

 

Not true -- My niece is still applying to colleges for next year - there are some she applied for early, but there are others she applied late to and one that she was accepted for delayed enrollment on and i know someone who was accepted, but their acceptance was withdrawn based on how their senior year went. Actually, two people. you can still "mess up" and you can still do things -- small scholarships are still given out by civic groups, etc, and some are given out after you finish your first semester. My husband wasn't going to get to go to college or it would have meant that he worked for a few years first in hopes and a project he did his senior year caught the attention of a company that sponsored 50% of his tuition if he committed to working for them a couple years and while in school. So never write off senior year. And my cousin who was in sports got a scholarship from the area newspaper and was in contention for it as his name had been mention in different articles about team results.

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I didn’t give him that message. He know that too.

 

I disagree. Actions speak louder than words.

If you made a genuine mistake with the date, and it was really important to you that he not be in this position, you'd be doing something on your end to try and make it different. Saying you feel bad is easy to do, but someone taking action is where you see what they really value.

Doesn't matter if you intend to break a chair, so to speak, you still pay for it.

 

Maybe I'm misreading and his wrestling wasn't all that important to him, etc., but I guess for me it just doesn't sit right how you are handling it. And the more I read, the worse it seems, but hey that's just me. You seem pretty set on letting this lie on his shoulders and framing it as a generous sacrifice.

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Whew! Your son just restored my hope in humanity!

 

(just watched a video of teenagers who are doing this 'skull-breaker' challenge where two kids try to kick the middle kid to fall on the back of their head!)

 

Don't feel bad. The wedding means more to him than the tournament and if he has already made the decision, then all you can do is accept it and smile that you've got a great kid who is going to be a great man.

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