Disappointment

My 11 year old son loves hockey.  

He lives and breathes hockey.  He watches it, talks about it, and plays it.  He studies it, dreams about it, and quotes statistics.  If you can relate it to hockey, he gets it.

He’s actually been ice skating in leagues or formal skating lessons since he was three.  He’s been ice skating since 2.  He’s been playing hockey since he could walk.  

In May of 2016, he did something he had never had to do before.  He had official tryouts, where he may not make the team, for a travel hockey league.  In preparation for the tryout, we signed him up for the defensive clinic with the coach and other players so they learned who he was.  We paid the fee.

He didn’t make it.

Actually he made the “alternate” list.  

“What is that?” he asked.

“If someone else doesn’t want their spot, they give it to you.”

“They wouldn’t have tried out if they didn’t want the spot.”

“That’s a good point.”

I cried with him.  I cried for him.  Then I talked to him about resilience.  It was a message he received in ways that amazed me.  He returned to the final day of the clinic with the same kids who had made the team and the coaches who didn’t choose him.  He decided to play on the house league again, and make the best of that time.  In fact, his team won the championship this time around.  When tryouts were advertised for the All-Star team, one he actually played on last year before you had to try out, he asked to participate.  

We paid the money.

I saw the hesitation the second he took the ice.  There were 22 kids out there skating.  You could almost see the moment he realized that meant some kids wouldn’t make it.  His first pass along the ice wasn’t his fastest, he was hesitating.  But then he must have shaken it off.  The kid continues to impress me with his ability to keep going.

I wish I could tell you this is a story with a happy ending.  I wish I could say this is a story about a kid who worked his little tail off, didn’t give up, and made the team.  

He didn’t.

He actually was named as the alternate…again.

Today I get to explain it to him.

We will talk about Thomas Edison and the attempts that weren’t lightbulbs.  We’ll talk about JK Rowling and her rejection letters.  We’ll talk about Michael Jordan being cut from his high school basketball team. We’ll talk about one of his cousins and hockey idols, who didn’t play travel hockey until he was older than my son.  We’ll talk about Stephen King, who kept his rejection letters on a nail and filled it.  Maybe we’ll even talk about my file of rejection letters.

Then my son will have to make the decision to dust himself off and keep playing, again.

My 11 year old son loves hockey.  

He lives and breathes hockey.  He watches it, talks about it, and plays it.  He studies it, dreams about it, and quotes statistics.  If you can relate it to hockey, he gets it.

The hardest part of parenting is helping him through those moments when he is reminded that hockey is just a sport, it can’t love you back.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Disappointment

  1. That was 100% my childhood. I didn’t pass swimming lessons one year because I “needed another year of growth.” I didn’t make the traveling field hockey team. I never made a varsity team – field hockey, lacrosse, or volleyball – in high school. The closest I got was “swing player” who would fill in on Varsity if someone was injured or sick. Same idea as alternate. I was told I would never play lacrosse in college and got lucky going to a school starting a new team and got to walk on and play my first two years before I decided I liked other things more. With sports, like everything in life, we don’t do it for the recognition. We do it for the love of the game and playing and taking chances. The love of the game never goes away, but disappointment is temporary. Playing with your heart for the love of the game is the most important thing, and the only time you should stop doing something is if your heart is no longer in it. Keep at it, G!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s