This weekend I learned that being a Mom means sometimes watching from the sideline as your child’s heart breaks. It also means watching them become better than you ever were.
This weekend my oldest son had to be in two different places at once. He was in a big Bible Bowl competition (quick recall of a book in the Bible-no not actual bowling). He also had to compete on his school academic team for quick recall at the regional level after winning at districts a few weeks ago. Both required buzzing in and with different answers. Isaiah competed in Bible Bowl Saturday morning and then in the afternoon we drove an hour and half away for him to compete with White’s Tower quick recall team. While we were gone Isaiah missed the fun day that was planned for everyone at the Bible Bowl event. We’re talking; laser tag, go karts, rock climbing wall, blow up obstacle courses. A ten year old boy’s dream! Isaiah missed all of that because he had a commitment to his other team. Honestly, he could have said, “I’m going to miss regionals because this was already planned.” It wouldn’t have been a lie and I would have even allowed him to do that considering the away tournament had been planned for several months long before his quick recall team won their district. “I’m on both teams, Mom and I need to be there for both of them,” and with that I knew we had a lot of driving to do and an even busier weekend than was already planned!
His quick recall team lost after three matches (two and out). Isaiah was visibly flustered in one of the matches. He was subbed out for the first time all day because he couldn’t fight his tears any longer. I wanted to jump across that classroom and swoop that little man up and hold him like I did for all those months he battled colic, but I didn’t. I sat back and I watched as his coach attempted to comfort him. She told him it was ok and it absolutely was. There team won districts for the first time in 30 years. They had exceeded everyone’s expectations.
My boy isn’t a sore loser, he isn’t a wuss. I know that some people probably looked at him and saw that, but they couldn’t be more wrong. He is devoted and he wears his heart on his sleeve. He works his butt off. He studies every night hoping to gain one more piece of knowledge that would help his team win. Those tears weren’t because they lost. Those tears were because he thought he failed. My tears on the other hand were because I was once again reminded that for whatever reason God chose me to be that boy’s Mom. My tears were because we had an hour and half drive to make back to his other competition that I would spend trying to rebuild the spirit of a little boy who thought he failed.
Sunday morning his Bible Bowl team went undefeated and would be participating in the afternoon competition. This was incredibly unexpected. This was the first year they had a team and apparently it is unheard of to do this well in the first year. I didn’t even know what Bible Bowl was before about 7 months ago, but that is what the “experts” tell me. In the match for third place, Isaiah’s team went against a team they had beat twice already.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it three. Once again my child was crushed. He was sitting up there in the captain seat (where he had been all day-without subbing out) and was fighting the tears again. I did everything I could to keep him smiling, but at one point he wouldn’t even look at me. I had the compulsion I did the day before to jump up and take him in my arms and hug him so hard all the parts that were breaking would be quickly put back together. I wanted to kiss his head and say, “I’m always proud of you, but today more than ever.”
He knew the other team was up and they were going to win. He kept buzzing and answering and his team got a few right, but it was too little too late and time was called on the match. Isaiah kept saying, “we lost,” and once again he felt he failed. He refused to accept that they actually won! They beat out 13 other teams to take home third place. What an accomplishment for my boy and his 4 teammates.
Isaiah is the hardest working kid I know and the effort shows. After that match, I hugged him so hard and was reminded that all that I do on this Earth will never be as important as the job I have as a Mom. God’s handiwork is a truly beautiful sight to see.
He put Isaiah in my arms when I was a month shy of 19. He entrusted me to care for him knowing full and well how incredibly flawed, inexperienced and immature I was. However, flaws and all I have been given the greatest gift in being able to be a Mom to him and his brothers. Motherhood is definitely a learn as you go kind of job and I am still figuring it all out.
Isaiah, you’ll one day be taller than me. Your voice will grow deep and strong. You’ll walk across a stage in a robe and goofy hat and be handed a diploma, most likely more than once. Your face may one day be the home of a beard. Through the rest of your life I will sit to the side and I’m certain I will witness several more heartbreaks. I will always be your safe place though. Rather you’re two, fifteen, thirty five and beyond you are always welcome to break in front of me. I will always put you back together. You will never ever be Humpty Dumpty (his favorite nursery rhyme as a toddler). You won’t even need all the king’s horses and all the king’s men because the Mom you have would cross the world and back again to make sure you feel whole. I’m certain my heart will break a little on the day I sit to the side and watch a wonderful girl put a ring on your finger, but I’ll beam with pride just like I did when you put your hand on that third place trophy.
As long as I’m living you will always be my little boy with curly blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. You will always be the first one to make heart burst open out of pure, unadulterated joy. My love for you is unwavering. You make me proud and as always, I can’t wait to see you change the world.