The brutal truth about life is sometimes you’ll never win. My daughter learned this truth last week, and it broke my heart. She’s been trying to get on the competing ballroom team at her high school for three years now. I’ve blog several times about her growth as a ballroom dancer, going from I have no idea what I’m doing to being able to name every dance step there is. She truly loves it and worked hard to improve. Next year she’ll be a senior, so this was her final opportunity to make the team. After tryouts she was so hopeful.
“I didn’t mess up once and I did every lift.”
But the next day we received the email that she would be remaining on the JV team. Crushed, she struggled to come out of her room. As a mom, part of me wished there was a way to take away the pain of the disappointment. And I might have thought about punching the stupid teacher in the face for split second, but thankfully my cooler head prevailed. I decided the best thing I could do was hug her through the sorrow and then the teaching moments just kept coming.
A friend of hers on the JV ballroom team sent her an excited text to tell her she had made the varsity team. My daughter cried even harder.
“Don’t be mad at her. She wanted to make the team as much as you did. I know it’s hard, but you need to congratulate her.”
The next text was from a girl on the JV team, sending out a group text to gloat about making the varsity team. I just kept hugging her.
“Well…you always said you didn’t like how she made things difficult on the JV team. At least now you won’t have to deal with her anymore.”
The next text came from a freshman girl that my daughter had befriended this year. She had made the JV team.
“Hey. Isn’t that a silver lining? Someone you actually like hanging out with will still be on your team.”
She rolled her eyes, but over time the tears ebbed. We went out to lunch for a final pity party and then I told her.
“Put it behind you and move on. There are still opportunities to be found in disappointments, but only for those who stop wallowing the “if only” and look for them.”
I know I need to get over the “if only” too, but being a mom is a special kind of hardship I could have never fathomed before having kids. The good thing is, I’ve lived long enough to know this too shall pass.