My teenage son had been in his bedroom crying for hours after finding out he didn’t make the high school soccer team. All his buddies made it, including his best friend. He was devastated and I didn’t know how to help him.
I cried with him, made comfort food, gave him a back rub and offered to watch Rudy with him. Even after I left him because he said he wanted to be alone, I sent text messages of love and encouragement from the next room.
I can’t help it. I’m a mom.
When your child hurts, you hurt ten times worse. You wish you could take it away, or even take it on yourself instead, or violently take it out on a voodoo doll dressed as a coach, but you can’t. He has to suffer through it and you just have to suffer along with him.
I was sooo ready to be a rowdy high school soccer mom in the bleachers this spring. I had school color outfits all picked out and everything.
This scenario isn’t new to me. The spring before eighth grade my best friend and I tried out for the junior high cheer squad. Only a few eighth-graders usually made the freshmen-dominated squad, but we’d busted our pompoms practicing and felt confident. We were ecstatic when we both advanced to the finals. We kept saying we hoped we either both made it, or both didn’t because being split up was unthinkable.
Guess what happened?
I spent a pathetic Friday night in my bedroom crying for hours.
Like son, like mother.
My mom tried to console me. I sobbed and told her that, while I was bitterly disappointed, I was sincerely happy for my besty. I was just worried what this would do to our friendship. Mom assured me we would still be best of friends.
Unfortunately, moms aren’t always right.
No sooner did my friend pull on the polyester pleated mini than she and the other new recruits became thick as thieves and I got ditched. As if eighth grade isn’t the most gosh awful awkward stage anyway, I started the new school year as a deserted cheerleader wannabe reject.
But, like Maria taught us in The Sound of Music, “The Reverend Mother always says, ‘when the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window’.”
The open window was a spot on the volleyball team where I met a friend who would become my besty for thirty years, after we dominated the state in volleyball. Go Knights!
When my son finally surfaced and was ready to talk I told him my story, quoted Reverend Mother and explained how even though he didn’t get what he wanted, there would be different opportunities ahead.
Fortunately, moms and even Reverend Mothers aren’t always right.
My son called me all excited the other day to explain how one of the team members didn’t meet eligibility requirements, so the coach offered him a spot on the team!
Woo Hoo! Pull out those neon hoodies!
When the Lord closes a door, sometimes instead of opening a window, He reopens the door and says, “Psych!”