Tanner tried out for the 9th grade baseball team this week. I was surprised that he wanted to tryout because hockey is his love. I was nervous and a bit worried. Why is it when our children try something new, encounter a difficult challenge or experience success it feels like our hearts are right out there with them? Tanner found out this morning that he didn't make the team. He was fine, I was a little teary. Not because I love baseball more than life itself and think the only way my child will achieve true happiness is by playing on the 9th grade team. When we got his text that said "nope" I was brought back to good old Snohomish High School! My Sophomore year I was a cheerleader and was trying out for the Varsity squad. I was nervous but confident also, does that make sense? Anyway, I didn't make it. I was devastated! We found out at the end of the day over the announcements who had made the squad. Isn't that an awful way to let people know! I was humiliated. My friends tried to say all the right things, but I still felt horrible. The halls had emptied for the day and I was sitting by my locker still crying. ***Flashback time***there used to be a Lifesaver candy commercial where a boy had just missed the winning shot at a high school basketball game. He was the only one left in the gym. You could almost feel the discouragement he felt. Sad music was playing, the lights were dim. In walks his dad. (are you getting choked up?) The dad hands his son a pack of Lifesavers and they embrace. OK, back to the story. ***
Remember, the halls were empty but me pathetically crying. My dad walks down the hall and sat down by me. He handed me a pack of Livesavers. I lost it. He didn't have to say anything.
Now I have a better understanding of how he must have felt. He left work and knew that I needed him. A pack of lifesavers is such a simple thing, but it was the love it represented that meant the world to me. Yes, I survived not being a cheerleader that year. Yes, I tried out the next year and made the squad. No, being a cheerleader did not define my life, thank goodness. My dad being there for me when I felt, in my dramatic way that my life was over, did help define me as a person. I tend to cheer for the underdog. I cry for the one left out. I want to shield all mankind from hurt and disappointment, (I know, a little dramatic). We won't always "make the team" in life. That is part of the plan. I am grateful to have experienced disappointment so that I can truly feel joy. I do know the difference. I am grateful for the "lifesaving" people in my life who help pick me back up when discouragement sets in. Most importantly I am grateful to have a Dad who took the time out of his day to be my lifesaver!
Side note - Tanner did not inherit my dramatic side. He is just fine. He may tryout for the golf team, run track, maybe take up dirt biking, who knows. All I know is that he is happy! What more could a mother ask for?