Thursday, May 30, 2013

Allowing Life to Happen

Junior Olympics Qualifier tournament.

At my house, they play water polo. My son and middle daughter also swim competitively, but the sport that matters is water polo. I’m pretty sure that neither of my daughters could tell you who won the last Super Bowl, much less who played. Actually, I don’t know that my son could tell you… but that’s fine. He is an awesome water polo coach. Just ask any player on his 12 and Under Boys team.
This weekend is huge for us – it’s the Junior Olympics Qualifier tournament. The winners of this tournament will go to National Junior Olympics later this summer. Needless to say, everyone at my house is a little keyed up this week. Probably no one more so than I. They have invested months of practice time in preparation for this tournament. (Trust me, I know, because I drove them to all of those practices.) That investment of time and effort has yielded tremendous benefits for them – they are both outstanding water polo players. I know that they can hold their own against any team they meet this weekend. 
Junior Olympics Qualifier tournament.
Still, Orange County is the epicenter of water polo nationwide. This weekend, they will be facing some of the toughest competition the Junior Olympics has to offer. So there is a possibility that one or more of them won’t qualify for the national tournament. (Won’t that make for some awkward dinner conversations?)
This is one time that I wish I could chuck the concept of right action, and just cheer for them to win with every fiber of my being. Certainly, there is a lesson for them in losing, but couldn’t they learn it some other time?  After the hours of practice they’ve logged, the parties and outings they’ve missed, they would be so disappointed if they didn’t qualify for the National Junior Olympic tournament.
I would be so disappointed, too. I’ve had a front row seat on their journey. Sometimes I’ve been the passenger, sometimes I’ve been the driver, but always I’ve tried to support them. (Which is how I ended up as team mom. Talk about hours logged, Yay!)
Now, here we are, on the eve of JO Quals, as they are commonly known, and I am more on edge than the kids. Perhaps that’s because I have to sit back and watch it all play out. There is nothing I can do to influence the outcome – I can’t play for them. 
As parents, we all want the best for our children, and it can be difficult to watch them go out and risk disappointment. We have invested so much of ourselves in them and helping them achieve their goals. It can be hard to be relegated the role of observer.
The thing, of course, is to know that it is all right action. Life, unfolding exactly as it should.
As it always does.