My oldest son competed in his first middle school track meet last night. When I was in high school, we called various members of the team hogs, dogs, and frogs--throwers, runners, and jumpers. Owen decided to try a little bit of everything: shot put, long jump, and the 200 meter dash. So I guess he was a hog-dog-frog... the image is a little terrifying.
This happened during the 200:
Yes, that's my son on the ground. He's fast on the soccer field, but a straight sprint might not be his thing. After the race, he was worried I'd be upset because he didn't perform well. Think about it for a minute, especially those of you who are parents. Would you be upset?
My answer--which came in the form of a question as my answers often do**: What did you do after you fell?
Owen: I got up.
Me: And then?
Owen: I finished the race.
That's all that mattered to me. I felt for him. Going down hard in front of a stand full of parents and your peers is tough, especially in 7th grade. Maybe I broke some parenting rule when I shared this photo, but no, I don't think so. I'm much prouder of a boy who crashes hard and still finishes than one who wins all the time. No one--anywhere/anyone--wins all the time.
Life is more about what you do when the bad shit happens.
*I really, really despise the word "get," but here it feels somehow appropriate. Forgive my lazy verb choice.
**I wonder if it's difficult to have me as a father?