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Do I get my trophy yet?

Submitted by on Friday, 12 February 2010 No Comment

Other than spinning around MarioKart-style on the court every time he gets bumped, Boots is just not that into soccer. Which is fine with me, because his spins are kind of cute. They play on a roller hockey court, so he looks like a tiny Dick Button.

He does care about snacks, though, and after the debacle of a few weeks ago, he asks me every game day if I remembered to buy them. No, love. It’s not our turn this time.

Oh, and he cares deeply about trophies, mainly because his brother has three that Boots has coveted ever since he’s been old enough to realize that Big Guy is accumulating a growing monument to his … well, really, to nothing other than the fact that he’s played on three teams.

The monument shifted from the family room to Big Guy’s room after we moved, and though it’s now out of regular sight, it’s definitely not out of Boots’ mind.

“I’m going to get my trophy if we win today,” Boots said before his first game.

No, dear, trophies come at the end of the season. And I don’t know if they give trophies here anyway. They said at the meeting I went to that players get medals, I told him. I’m sure that won’t stop parents from insisting that we order trophies, I thought.

“No fair!” he pouted. “I want a trophy!”

We had the same conversation before his second game. And his third. I’m sure we’ll have it again tomorrow. It’s starting to get on my last nerve.

Enough with the trophy talk, I want to shriek. They mean nothing. They’re just a shiny bauble someone hands you for showing up. That’s not the way it works in real life. Not often, at least, though I do have a tiny pin with a small chip of sapphire I was given when they realized I’d shown up for five straight years at my last job. I have no idea where it is, though.

Big Guy is starting to get it, and he’s largely uninterested in his monuments of late. He does, though, like to bring out his yellow belt and admire it quite often. “I earned this,” he’ll say. “No one just gave it to me like they do in soccer.”

It makes me all warm and fuzzy to know that if you keep saying it often enough, kids understand. Big Guy clearly grasps the difference between rewards based on performance – yellow belts and grades, for example – and goodies handed out for showing up – smiley stickers and gratuitous trophies.

In time, Boots will get that, too. Meanwhile, he just wants his trophy.

Tuesday during the game, a mom came around with a catalog, taking a poll about which trophy the other parents would prefer. I took the coward’s way out and didn’t say “none of the above.”

Boots will get his trophy, but the good news is, he wants to start karate classes at the end of soccer season.

He’ll learn.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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