As you may or may not know, my seventh grader, who is twelve, plays tennis. My ninth grader and soon-to-be seven-year-old also play tennis, but this blog isn't about them. It's about my twelve-year-old.
Now, this kid doesn't just play tennis. He plays tennis. Among his accomplishments:
- Selected by the USTA to attend two camps at the USTA National Training Center in Carson, CA.
- Ranked in the top eight for 12-and-under in the USTA Northern section, which includes Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and eastern North and South Dakota.
- Is a 3-star recruit on TennisRecruiting.net
- Currently playing 3rd singles for the high school varsity. He is the only 7th grader on the team.
During his first season of high school tennis, he has a 16-3 record. Over the past few weeks, he has pulled a win out of close three set matches, beating seniors and team captains along the way. He loves being on the tennis court, and loves the team he's playing on.
Today (if it doesn't rain) is the semifinal sectional match, which is kind of a big deal. Since this is tennis - not football - the amount of school spirit directed towards the team isn't exactly overwhelming. So, in an attempt to let the school body know that "hey by the way, the high school tennis team is pretty damn good this year," all of the boys are wearing their uniforms (white shorts, maroon Dri-Fit shirt, tall black socks) to school today. And of course they just had a match yesterday afternoon, which meant that I quickly did a couple loads of laundry last night so that everything would be ready for this morning.
But Charlie didn't want to wear his uniform to school.
Because he was so sure that he was going to get laughed at by a certain group of kids. Or, in his words, "They're totally going to make fun of me and won't care. They'll just think I'm stupid."
I know kids are mean and that they say things to other kids without thinking first -- this will never change, and there's nothing I can do about it. But right now, I'm pissed off, I hate the fact that my kid is being made to feel bad about something he's good at and passionate about and, if you happen to hear about a zit-faced seventh grader that got nailed in the side of the head by a Babolat racquet, I didn't do it.
It was probably my kid, after I gave him permission.