I just had a heartbreaking conversation with my middle son. He's been a little "off" all day. Probably tired because he has 6am practices for his sport. But not like most days. Ed and I both noticed it and were walking on eggshells.
Tonight the bomb detonated. It was 7:30pm and I announced that it was time for FHE. One of my goals for 2012 is to make sure that I am teaching my children the things they need to survive happily in this world. One of those things is to have a relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that sticks in good times or bad. I want my children to know that I have a testimony of the Gospel and I hope that I can help them along the path of gaining their own.
Anyway, long story short, I was ready for FHE. Handouts and everything. One son was gone at his FHE group, and the other three our of four of us were ready to dig in. But first we had a battle. It was ugly. It was hurtful. It was frustrating. For all of us. Finally things calmed down and the three of us discussed prayer while the one listened.
There was still some storming after our discussion was over, but once it settled, I was able to stand quietly in my son's room and ask if there was anything I could do to help. The answers were not all that welcoming, but I stayed.
Finally, a discussion. My son was injured in his first match in December. Despite his pain, he has not missed one practice. He has had a great attitude. He's worked hard. But now he wants to quit. He is frustrated that he isn't getting any better and that time is running out and that he is a liability to the team and it's not really woth continuing and what does it matter if you are an Iron Man if you can't win a mthc. That's about how the concerns tumbled out. The thing he said that really bothered me was that nothing matters except the W's and L's. (Wins and Losses, for those of you who are not immersed in sports like I am. . .) I HATE that whole sports mentality. It is so NOT true. But how do you explain that to a teenager who is hurting physically and mentally?
I tried to explain that there are all sorts of circumstances that hinder athletes and teams from reaching their full potentials. Injuries, bad coaching, bad draws, physical size and many other factors all have part in winning and losing. The one thing that can give you an advantage is a good attitude. My examples were lost because he was just too upset to listen and think.
I didn't talk much, but I hung around for a long time. I guess I did OK because while I was writing this he came out of his room. I made some Muddy Buddies and we hung out for a little while. Later, when this day is behind us, we will revisit this topic. With a Gospel twist.
I am so grateful that life is NOT all about the W's and the L's. If it really was that way, I think we would all give up. What a blessing that we only have to do our best and give our all- and the Savior makes up the difference. I hope I can help my son understand that blessing. . .