"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Life Lessons: letting them learn on their own

This week has already been a long one and it's only Wednesday. Everyone is looking forward to Spring Break next week although the weather doesn't look like it's going to give us much in the way of spring-like temperatures. My Other Half returned home after 15 long days on the road. He battled a snowstorm on the NY Thruway, a screw up at the border which resulted in having to wait two hours before he was allowed back into his own country with boats clearly labelled "Made in Canada." And he returned to the crushing news that Number One Son did not make it to the Provincial Ski Racing competition. This past season has not been B's year, he has battled anxiety and fear of crashing and despite his unbelievable ability to do well in training it did not translate into results and he didn't earn enough points to take him to the finals. Unfortunately most of the boys on his team will be going up north over the break to race. To add to it all Numbers Two and Three won three medals each in the Club Championships on Sunday and balancing their excitement with being sensitive to Number One's disappointment in his own performance was difficult to say the least. We've been through this before and it never gets any easier.

It is so hard to not try and make everything all better for your children. I am not, or at least I try not, to be one of those parents who fixes everything. I knew there was a good chance he wouldn't make it and I could have badgered the coaches to try and get another spot for him and they might have been able to but I don't believe that everyone should get a prize whether they have earned it or not. One of my issues with ski racing is that it has, at this level anyways, become a "pay to play" sport. As long as the parents are willing to pay for their kids to compete the coaches will take them. There are no try outs or cuts. Everyone makes the team. That is until the end when it really comes down to how you did in the races over the course of the season and unfortunately our son didn't do well enough to make it. It is a bitter lesson but a good one, one that we all have to learn at some point in our lives. He is an incredible athlete and his hockey team is still in the playoffs thanks, in large part, to B's incredible goal tending skills. It will be a tough weekend as he is back on the hill with the boys who are leaving next Tuesday for the Provincials but I am already so proud of him and how he is handling it. I just hope his friends are sensitive without being patronizing at their team party on Saturday as everyone knows who made it and who didn't. We won't make excuses for him and I know he has learned the first in a life-long series of lessons, one that I wouldn't try to shield him from no matter how much I feel his pain.


  1. Oh, that's too bad that he didn't earn enough points. I agree totally with your position, and know it is hard not to "try to fix things" to ease a child's pain. It sounds like you, and he, are doing just fine though. Go hockey team!

  2. That's disappointing for your son, but I do think kids learn as much from losing as from winning. It's hard as a mother, though.

    Cute photos of you and your hubbie below.


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