A Proud Mama Week

Monday, April 2, 2012

Having three kids rarely means there is a day, week or month when all of them are functioning on all cylinders at one time. Usually one is up, one is down and the other is somewhere in the middle. Last week was one of those rare times when everything clicked and boy was this mama's heart full.

Looking ahead at the calendar when I returned from my trip, I was not particularly thrilled about the upcoming 5 days. Trey had stayed behind in Alabama, I was starting spring quarter classes, Quinn had three "away" soccer games, Ian had his end-of-season wrestling tournament and Ben had two evening soccer practices that conflicted with all of the above. I put my head down and plundered through knowing I would have to be okay with asking for rides, serving cereal for dinner and missing parts or all of each event.

Fortunately, my first day of classes was fabulous (more on that in a later post) and Russ (our "manny") sent me a text saying that he didn't feel like his job was done until Trey returned so he would be available if we needed anything. Boy did I ever need to take him up on that offer. Between classes on Wednesday I got a text that Quinn was in the counselor's office having a tough day. I can't go into details but suffice it say that sometimes a teacher's sarcasm doesn't mix with a teenager's fragile emotions. That evening after his game, he was pulled aside and asked to play in the varsity game on Friday. His excitement was quickly deflated when his J.V. teammates got word and told him it was only because the team would be missing players due to the start of spring break. Nice.

That evening Ian had three matches. Now this is a kid who isn't terribly competitive, eschews team sports and hasn't hit his growth spurt. But he has played his heart out all season long for only one win. I feared lots of tears both during and after matches along with threats of quitting. I am happy to report none of this happened. He was ahead by a lot going into the third round of his first match when his opponent pinned him. The second and third rounds he was the one doing the pinning and the tournament ended on a very high note. I couldn't have been prouder of his attitude, work ethic and overall respect for his teammates and their coach. He ended his inaugural season a winner in my book.

The next day Ben came home with his second trimester report card. He was a little upset because his percentages went down a little in two subjects and said "I'm definitely not getting high honor roll this next time." I know that it's a lot easier to start out of the gate fast and furious but maintaining that pace is really tough for most people. Ben is so hard on himself that he rarely needs any prodding to do homework or study so I encouraged him to keep doing his best. After he walked away, I picked up the paper to read it myself and of course went straight to the teacher's comments section. Her words were music to my ears: "Ben always displays a happy spirit! What stands out the most is his genuine acceptance of others and highly engaged attention." That is worth more than a 100% to me any day.

Friday night was the creme de la creme of the week. We headed out to Quinn's game and as soon as we pulled into the school parking lot, the skies let loose. Trey assured me it would blow over but as the minutes ticked by we donned our raincoats, grabbed our umbrellas and trekked out to the fields. It was worse than a torrential downpour and I was cursing the lack of spring in the Northwest and questioning why my kids don't play indoor sports. Quinn was playing the first half in the J.V. game and the second half with the Varsity guys. He was so nervous that he even left the house 30 minutes earlier than the bus was going to be at the school so he was "good and warmed up." I know the flack he was getting from the upperclassmen and his own teammates was bothering him. I prayed for him and his confidence and left it with God. What happened next was beyond my wildest dreams.

As the second half began, they were down 2-0 to a team they were predicted to beat handily. With 20 minutes left they scored as the goalie slid the wrong direction. Since Quinn was still on the bench, I continued watching the J.V game with some other moms when Ben informed me "They're putting Quinn in." Next thing I knew they had scored a second goal and we were now tied. Quinn was totally holding his own and keeping great control of the ball as a midfielder. With 7 minutes left, the ball was passed to him, he booted it from 25 yards out and into the net it went. It was an unbelievable moment. The other team never got down to the other end of the field and our team was able add another tally to the win column. The next morning's paper had a short article about the game. Here's a link to the next day's article. What a redeeming end to a tough start of a week.

I always feel proud of my kids regardless of how they perform because I know it's how you handle the adversity that truly reveals your character. But I also know that having some victories along the way really helps to buoy you through those trying times. Weeks like this are the moments I cherish.