Last week, I watched Youngest compete in a tennis match. As I sat among the parents from the other team, I heard a mother call out the following to her son on the court: "Michael, no double faults!"
Seriously, short of shouting out "You suck!", could she possibly have found anything less helpful to say to her son as he stepped up to the service line?
I remembered the little distinction I made the other day. I mean, if she had to say something, couldn't she have settled for "watch the ball" or "keep your tossing arm straight" or, heaven forfend, "have fun."
When I am at my most compassionate, I would say that her admonition, "No double faults!" was really just maternal anxiety articulated. But since I don't spend much time at that end of the compassion scale, I will try to simply be grateful to her for reminding me that I want my presence at my kids' activities to speak only of my support for them.
I think that's all the talking I need to do.
In that situation...