learning to wait

Are you, like me, addicted to the Olympics? If if you’re not, don’t run away – the story isn’t just for Olympiphiles. (Yes, I totally made that name up. Your point?) During the women’s gymnastics we were treated to the sideshow that was Aly Raisman’s parents, bobbing and weaving and holding their breath while she performed. If you didn’t see it, you probably won’t because the IOC is sensoring it to death on the web. But, I digress.

I mention Aly’s parents because I think I can finally relate, in a small way, to their reaction to watching one of the most important performances of their daughter’s career. After all of the years of practices that they transported her to and from, the money they invested in her lessons and her gear, the time they spent traveling to and from meets, they were forced to sit in the stands, helpless to the outcome of those few short moments in time. They were powerless. There would be no do-over. No amount of consoling would erase her disappointment if she failed. This was the OLYMPICS! Her whole life’s training came down to mere minutes. I finally get that…on a much smaller scale.

This is our oldest, Simon. He’s got two real passions in life – boy scouting and golf. This is a photo of him last Summer, heading out to his league practice. Golf is his thing, and he’s had his eyes on the middle school golf team for a couple of years now. This week, the time finally came to try out for those coveted spots – only about a dozen. We’ve invested our time and money into prepping him for this week. Clubs aren’t cheap. Of course, it was time to get new ones (they grow if you feed ’em) right before try-outs. Green fees, lessons and leagues aren’t free. He’s done chores and even got a summer job to raise the money to help with expenses.

Try-outs began on Monday and continued through yesterday. Each day, 2:30-5:30pm for four days. Then, one of us would pick him up just hoping and praying that he’d made the cut. Always playing the role of supporting parent, encouraging him while bracing him for the blow that would come if he were cut. He was so sure of himself. We were figuratively bobbing, weaving and cringing, Raisman-style.

Then, finally the news came yesterday…Simon made the team! Hard work paid off! We are so proud of his dedication to working at it in 90+ degree heat, his willingness to do the not-so-awesome jobs that earned him the money and his overall attitude through the whole week. He’s really looking forward to practices and meets.

Of course, there’s a lesson in all of this. Happiness is fleeting. There’s pure joy in teaching your kids about dedication and hard work. There’s joy in listening to your son tell you how he prayed that God would be with him in try-outs and sharing Bible verses with him like –

Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

There’s pure joy in knowing that you can give your child the tools to be successful and then watching what they can do with them.

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