I’m thankful for Max’s resilience at his volleyball tournament this last weekend.

I’m grateful that after sitting on the side-lines for most of the morning they finally put him and after making a few nervous mistakes his “shine” came out and he came to life out there.

And I’m grateful that before I had to leave for a meeting I got to see his face glow in pure delight when the team gave him high-fives following some great plays.

I realize that volleyball is not the most important thing in the world, but sitting there on the sidelines I learned something I keep re-learning over and over again:

Sadness and heartbreak make the eventual good things so much better. As a mother it rips your heart out to see your son sit out for so long before playing after SO much practice (he sat out the whole first part of this day-long tournament as well as the last one a few weeks ago). As I sat there watching my heart turned heavy and achy because I could almost feel the defeat and sadness he was feeling. But it’s amazing how that sadness can shift so quickly and the triumph can be that much sweeter for both of us because we felt the heartbreak first.

Such is life. There are so many tough things, but I thank the trials for making the triumphs that much better.

And boy oh boy do I ever love that Max.

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  1. beautiful outlook! That feeling of one on the bench is so hard… especially for us moms! I will try to keep your post in mind as we enter this basketball season with my boy who was the only of his friends not to make varsity…his thoughts: good, now I will get more playing time on jr. varsity!

  2. I have never posted on your blog before although I read it daily and love it… my son played club volleyball for 5 years starting when he was 14 – Fall and Spring — I watched and felt the same thing intermittently through that time. It's so hard to sit and watch them on the sidelines especially after practicing so hard. The good news is that while this sport (like most club sports) are incredibly competitive, you will run across coaches who appreciate EVERYONE's hard work and will play everyone. Hang in there Mom – and Max — and you're right – watching their smiles when they have the chance to shine just makes it all worth it. **PS – the good news too — he's tall and someone once told me, in volleyball, height is king….. (I know – not the point of your post but just an FYI).

  3. I love this post! A few weeks ago I watched my 7 year old "give up" 7 goals for the half he was in the goal. He was defeated and devestated when it was over and I could barely choke back tears myself. (he cried in my arms — I get ready thinking about it). But it made him better and stronger and gave me the chance to let him know how proud of him I was. That, and we talked about helping the goalie out with some defense! Anyway, thanks for being so eloquent and putting into words how hard but rewarding it is to see our children falter and then shine.

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