My son, Jayden will be 9 next week. I can’t believe I have been a mom for 9 years. On one hand it feels like I have been his mom my whole life, and on the other hand I remember welcoming him into this crazy beautiful world like it was yesterday. Finding out we were pregnant was scary, knowing of all the challenging things that were ahead of us. It’s getting the most important job of your life, and you have zero qualifications for it.
Every day there is a new challenge as a parent. Bed times, discipline, friends, balancing work and being a parent.. the list goes on and on. Of all of the things, I never thought that him playing sports would be a challenge for ME.
From the moment I found out I was having a boy I couldn’t wait for the day that he put a little jersey on and played sports, especially football, with my husband and I both being huge fans. Yes, I have been a mom for 9 years but I am kind of new to the whole “sports mom” thing…and let me tell you, it’s tough. Jayden has played football for two different leagues. His first year, he didn’t play much. Just the amount of plays they guarantee each child to play (he was little and it was his first year) . His team made it to the playoffs and they lost the championship game. It wasn’t a big deal to him because he still received a huge trophy with his name on it.. He loved the game and the trophy.
He played for a different league his second year, and he played great. He was one of the best players on the team. So good, he got at least one touch down every game. We were so proud of him. This team also made it to the championship…again this year, we lost. The difference between the two leagues.. he didn’t get a huge trophy for losing, no consolation prize. The reason I loved the league in the beginning was because of that reason only. That was before I saw the tears running down my baby’s face over the loss and having to cheer on the other team as they received their championship trophy.. and he knew he wasn’t getting one. There is no way to explain how much it hurt me.. it may seem little to some, but he wanted to win.
You know as a parent the words that come out of your mouth after that loss are crucial. What do you say though? How do you help them deal with the feeling of losing, the frustration, and disappointment?
I did’t say anything… I was sad too. I just hugged him. It was then I learned how strong a 8 year old could be that day. After crying on my shoulder he picked his head up, wiped his tears and shook the hands of each little boy that beat him in the championship.
He learned so much that day. He learned that you don’t get rewarded for losing. He learned you have to be the best to get a trophy. He also knows to be a good sport and to congratulate the winners. Not receiving a consolation trophy made him want it so much more the next year. Jayden NOT getting a trophy was the most motivating thing that has happened to him. It was OK that my son DIDN’T get a trophy.
Every day is a challenge but we get through it together.