I have worked hard not to live through my children’s experience. Finding and maintaining the line between us has been a continuous and hard won effort. I try to maintain a compassionate connection to their setbacks and witness the celebration of their victories. They are not me, and their wins and losses are theirs.
Today the lines got a little fuzzy as I watched my son become the soccer star he has been dreaming of for months. He doesn’t know how he did it, and it is unlikely that the planets will align for him like this again, but watching his joy mixed with surprise as he came away with not one goal, but four was sheer delight. A couple of them were kicks so well placed, no one knows how he did it, including him.
My son worked hard to enjoy this golden moment. Overcoming not just the rigorous physical demands in training, inevitable injuries and the mental block to having the humility to play where he was placed, the journey to finding this capacity has been a long road. Finding the will to stay with it and find meaning in his ability to persist has made me proud. This is what I want him to get out of sports.
As his self discipline grew, so did his enjoyment of the game. It didn’t matter what team he was on, it just mattered that he played. His tenacity earned him title as captain. His humility and humor made him easy to follow. Yet today when all that work came together at his back and he landed one goal after the next, I was out there too for a brief moment, basking in the unexpected moments of glory. He will probably never score four goals in a single game again in his life, but he and I will always remember the day he did.