My son plays hockey. Ice hockey. Yes, you heard that right. This Florida native, sun loving girl created, in her body, a child that loves snow and ICE! I still can’t understand it.
He at 7 years old and living in a southern state, is fairly good at it. Especially for just learning this year. However, with that said, it astounds me at the talent pool some of these players have. They must have been on skates before they could properly walk and wielded miniature hockey sticks before an actual fork. As good as my son is, these kids look like pro’s. I mean legit U.S.A. million dollar potential. At seven.
Because of this my son has to work hard. Extra, extra hard. He plays hard, he falls hard, and he cry’s hard. Recently he had to have a pep talk on this. He had been slammed (hard) into the wall. He held it together until after the game, which was another twelve minutes and twenty-six seconds. After which he fell apart in front of everyone as we undid all his smelly gear.
I wonder, have you been working so hard toward something. Something you know you are good at, but even so it seems others are just that much faster? Are you tired of holding it together?
My husband and I were kind in speaking to him but also trying to make him see that he needed to “shake it off”, be brave, stop crying and “pull it together”.
He proceeded to tell us through giant crocodile tears that sometimes we (his own parents ) cry too. He told us, that it is Ok because sometimes it hurts. This kid had no qualms in showing his tears and I wanted to clap out loud for him. He was so brave in his honesty. He knew he had given it his all in the game, his team had lost, and he had an injury to boot. So he cried. He held onto his Daddy like a life line and he let it all go.It didn’t matter who watched or who judged.
In essence he “shook it off” the only way he could. I don’t think we give ourselves this option, enough.
I hope I learn this lesson as well as he taught it. Sometimes, shaking it off isn’t about being tough. He finished the game. He pushed through and he showed up till the bell rung. Then, he let is all out. How many of us stop to early because it hurts? How many of us don’t release the hurt?
The very next week he was back out there. Fascinatingly enough, I watched him destroy the ice while his people cheered him on. Sure enough, half way through the game his energy was waining. The U.S.A. Olympic, million dollar potential kids were skating all around him like he was a frozen statue.
We cheered, we yelled, we slammed the railing in applause. I then, with intriguing interest, watched him go into another gear. I thought he was gassed, done for and spent. As his mother, I know when he needs a nap, when he is angry or hungry, and also when He has given his all. Yet, with his crew championing him I saw him dig deep for energy and play his very best. Dog tired and empty, He left it all out on the ice. He would have made Rasmus Dahlin proud.
What do you need to complete, even if your bruised?
What do you need to cry about and “shake off” ?
Who pushes you into another gear when it seems like you have nothing more?
My son will not only go the extra mile but will give you two if you champion him. I hope I remember this. Not just for him, but for myself and for others too.
Most of us can do incredible things when someone is behind us, shouting for us, telling us we got this! Who can you champion today? Who is cheering for you? We all need to be better cheer squads for our world and our people because when we do, magic happens.
In the face of ignorance, ugliness, hard things, and pain we can choose better. We can be a shoulder to cry on and a sign holding screaming fan, all in one. To have someone’s back and for that person to know it causes greatness! Excellence cures all. In order to choose this philosophy, we must be people who crusade it and advocate it out of each other.
Integrity, strength, honesty, vulnerability, that is what I’ve witnessed in my son and that is the hope for our future world.