Missing the Teaching Moment

Last week Jane had a school soccer game. The night before I’d reminded her to pack her soccer bag and school bag, and to leave it all at the front door.

I got a, “Yes Mom.” And then she did whatever she wanted. She is twelve after all.

The soccer game was at 3.30 and I showed up at school at 3. Jane came running at me, “Mom I forgot my cleats can you run home and get them?”

“Yes I can, but I won’t. You’ll have to play in your school shoes.” I said.

“But the ref won’t let me play in these shoes.” And she tugged on my arm.

“Then you’ll sit on the sidelines and watch your team play. This will probably be the last time you ever forget to your cleats.” Was my firm but┬ácompassionate┬áreply.

“Mo-om, please mom please they can’t play without me. Moooooooommmmmmm.” She was begging.

Just then her coach walked by, and asked what the problem was. “My Mom can’t get my soccer shoes so I can’t play.”

“Correction.” I said to him, “I can get her soccer shoes but I won’t. She forgot her shoes so you’ll have a cheerleader today.”

And then the coach went to the trunk of his car and pulled out a pair of cleats for Jane to borrow.

Our version of the right thing is wildly divergent.

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