Sunday, May 1, 2016

Who Says Boys Dont Cry?

Feb 3, 2013

Every young man on that court was playing to win. As the roar from the crowd became hostile I reminded myself that every mother and father in the stands felt the same way I did. We all wanted our team to win. But somebody had to lose didn't they?

Emotions were running high at the big game this week and despite all my preseason confessions that I am not competitive, I found myself sucked in by the fervor of the crowd. I was turning hoarse before halftime.

Sure enough, it was a nail biter till the very end and alas, we were not the victors. That old saying "The thrill of victory and agony of defeat" stung deeply as our players filed off the court with their heads hung low. Our fans gathered our belongings and began to descend the bleachers. Some were angry, some were offended but most, like me, were sad. My heart was heavy for our boys who literally gave it their all.

E did take a hug from his dad
I watched my son from across the court. He was crying unabashedly, his body shaking with each sob. I wanted nothing more than to cross the chasm between us and wrap my arms around him just like I did when he was five. But he's not a baby anymore. In fact, he looks more like a man than my little boy these days, and I sadly recognized his grief is no longer alleviated by mommy’s love.

I guess we're getting too old for that sort of thing.

Instead I kept an eye on him. His friends greeted him with cheers as his teammates consoled one another. There, in the midst of my inability to be his comfort, I had the most surreal feeling that I was witnessing a formative moment in his life.

You see, my son hasn't won much. For every sport he's played he's never been handed a trophy, a ribbon or award and he's never had more wins than losses. Instead, his history is riddled with what-ifs and maybes. The game he just lost - yeah, it would have been a path to the championship. I know he wanted to have that experience more than he wanted his next breath.

While I recognize it may not be my job anymore to kiss his boo-boos, I'm still his mother and it is still my job to help him navigate life, including disappointment and grief. I know that in order to learn how to handle such difficulty one must be immersed in, well, difficulty. Crazy how that works since winning is so much more fun. However, I predict this loss will make victory that much sweeter should he ever be the champion. This is a small comfort to my heart.

That allusive win, it seems, will have to wait until another sport or another season. Thankfully for him, he's young and chances are he will have many more opportunities in the future. While our drive home was excruciating, I was reassured by the belief that the moment was molding my son. I can only hope this loss will encourage his strive for excellence and develop a compassion for the underdog. Also, I handed him a tissue because I want him to know it is okay to cry. Why? Because I’m the mom and I said so. That’s why!

This article appears as a part of my weekly Practical Parenting series for the Monmouth Daily Review Atlas. For more Practical Parenting articles click here or to learn more about my Tribe check out Tales from the Tribe entries. If you've enjoyed this entry would you please consider sharing it? Look for the Tweet, Facebook, Google+ links below. Thanks!


  1. Loved the Read,and we win in life when Moms wright about there family like you do.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment!


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