When I was at my son’s first real hockey game a couple of weeks ago I felt butterflies in my stomach, dizzy, and nauseous. My ears were aching by all the loud cheering and shouting. I thought I was going to pass out and so I sat on my seat like a heavy brick while parents jumped up and down all around me.
I couldn’t wait for the game to be over. I looked at my husband and whispered in his ears, “I hate this.” Tears waited to spring a river down my cheeks but I managed to keep them from leaking.
My husband tenderly looked at me and nodded with understanding. I wanted to grab my eight year old son and take him home. But my husband reassured me over and over that my son was doing well and he was going to be o.k.
I silently prayed for him. I prayed for God to fill my son with more confidence, a sound mind, a dose of joy, and long lasting strength to endure the competition.
My husband was positive that this was the right move for our eight year old.
My son was so excited that he had made the team. The days leading up to his try outs were long and there were many moments I thought my pounding heart was going to jump right out of my skin.
I managed to make it through his first game without having a break down and when it was over he came to me with a big hug. I held his tired face and red cheeks in between my hands and I praised him. And trying to not choke up on my words I told him how proud I was of him.
On our way home I was disappointed in myself. Why was I not having fun with the rest of the parents?
Gently God spoke to me and reassured me that I was not alone. This is what moms go through from time to time and everyone carries mommy worries differently. It doesn’t matter if our son is the best or the worst in the game. We all want our sons to feel good about themselves and successful.
None of us want to see our child rejected or fail. We don’t want them to be embarrassed when they make a mistake in front of everybody.
This season is going to be really long for me if I let myself worry like this. God is helping me see things differently about competition and why my son is benefiting from playing Hockey.
It’s not just about him becoming a great hockey player. It’s about him living life with passion and being a part of a team. It’s about doing your best, showing up, and playing your part like a champion.
It’s about winning some and losing some. It’s recovering from a fall and getting back up when knocked down.
These are the things that my son needs to learn to become a respectable man of honor. It’s in the game of hockey that he will learn to stand tall, trust himself, and fight for what he wants.
This is part of him growing up. I believe in him and I know he has what it takes. He may not be the best athlete out there. But my son is strong in character.
I tell him all the time, “Son I admire you! You are brave! You are doing something that takes courage!”
My husband is teaching our boy one new skill at a time. Each time he accomplishes that skill we celebrate with praise.
In real life he is going to have to take one step at a time before he makes it to the next. Just when he thinks he has arrived he will see that there is more to learn. He will need the discipline to practice, discover, and adventure out into the unknown.
I write this with tears running down my cheeks. It’s hard isn’t it moms to let our kids go. We don’t want them to be hurt, but God will help them overcome.