In the realm of trying out for athletic teams, my little guy has an amazing ability to suck up disappointment and move on with grace.
For the fourth time in the past two years, Jonah tried out for a travel team and was passed over. He’s been rejected twice for travel soccer and twice for the lacrosse travel team. And yet, he keeps on playing. It doesn’t seem to deter him or impact his love of the game. I am amazed by his ability to shake it off and see the positive with each rejection.
Last year when he didn’t make the travel soccer team, he simply said, “That’s ok, I can try again next year.”
This year, he was all up for trying out again, but he had a back up plan. If he didn’t make the travel rec team, he would play for our parish team — which doesn’t require tryouts and travels for games. He still wanted to tryout for rec travel, however, even though the odds were against him. A few minutes before the first tryout, he stubbed his toe pretty badly and was a total mess. But when he hit the field, he gave it his all. At the end of the tryouts, he said to me: “That was fun Mom. I had a really good time.”
And that’s what matters. He didn’t seem stressed. He wasn’t really trying to impress. He was just out there playing soccer and having fun with the boys. I was so proud of him.
When the news came that he didn’t make the team, he was disappointed but after just a few seconds, he put on a bright face and asked if he could play on the parish team. He didn’t seem to get down on himself. He didn’t get angry. He didn’t cry. All he cared about was that he’d still be able to play, and he’d still get to travel.
I think the news was more difficult for me than for him. I saw how hard he worked at the tryouts. He doesn’t have fancy footwork, and he’s not a natural soccer player. But he’s an athletic kid. He’s big and he’s fast and he has a positive attitude. He’s a kid who likes to play the game and is willing to give it his all. But I guess that wasn’t enough.
The rejection crushed me more than it crushed him. I’m his mom. I take all these things to heart.
But I am still so proud of him. I’m proud that he still loves the game, and that he’s not deterred. I’m even more proud of how he handled it than I would have been had he made the team.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 14, Lilly, 13, Adam, 13, and Jonah, 9.