Playing dumb–not always a bad idea

My children often teach me more than I teach them, and this week was no different.

My oldest climbed into the car after a preseason, high school football practice. Red-faced and sweaty he looked beyond exhausted.

“So…how’d it go?” I know, kind of a stupid opener, but we did just move to a much warmer climate.

“Well, a kid just patted my shoulder and I told me I was doing pretty good for never having played before.”

“And what did you say to him?” My tone roughened right up. No way would my son look like a newbie to the sport. My son had played football since he was seven.

“Oh, I just smiled. He wasn’t trying to be rude, and I don’t mind playing dumb. Maybe I’ll learn something new.”

His words blew my mind. That’s not how I had handled new situations as a kid. I was the kind of person that blurted out my experience and what I was capable to doing. And here he’d willingly played dumb so this new coach and kids around him could teach him their way of doing things.

That took an awful lot of humility on his part. I don’t know if my teenage-ego would have ever been capable of such a thing, but as an adult I could see the wisdom in his choice. It’s pretty hard to teach anybody that acts like they already know it all.

Sigh…things I wish I would have thought about when I was fifteen.

About janelleevans

I'm a sleep deprived mother of three. I create young adult novels from the voices in my head.
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