Saturday, March 27, 2010

Final wrestling meet

Last night was my pint sized five-year-old's final wrestling meet. We made it to three out of the four they had this season (he had an ear infection the day of the first) and it was amazing to watch his improvement. Daddy has spent time working with him, in addition to the regular practices and he really learned some moves.

His first match was really impressive. They don't actually keep score or declare a real winner (it's strictly recreational), but he did very well against the other kid. I was so amazed to see him putting the things he's learned to use the way he did. His improvement in just the two weeks since the last meet was obvious. I was really proud of him.

His second match didn't go so well. He wrestled a different kid, one he's been matched against before, but he got taken down hard and hit his head right at the beginning. You could tell he wanted to stop right then and there, and he never really got it together. But he never quit either. He was almost crying the whole time and I'd be lying if I said it didn't absolutely break my mommy heart. But he kept fighting, and kept fighting and stayed off his back the whole time. Although he wasn't able to do much to the other kid, he didn't let the other kid do much to him either. I suspect if points were kept, he'd have lost that match, but I was so impressed with his determination. His head hurt and he wanted to stop, but he would. not. quit. We cheered him on and yelled for him to keep going, that he was doing so great! And he kept fighting.

Afterwards, he broke down in a puddle of tears in Daddy's arms. His head hurt and he was frustrated and upset. He had held it in so fiercely during the match, all that emotion came bursting out with equal ferocity when it was over. He cried for a bit and my husband proved, once again, how incredible he is. He held him and talked to him and helped him calm down.

You'd think after all that, he would have said he doesn't want to wrestle anymore, or that he's glad the season is over. But no, not my little monkey. After the outburst had run it's course, he was nothing but proud of himself and happy with what he'd done. He told anyone and everyone that he did a good job and even though his last match was really hard, he didn't give up.

He's actually disappointed the season is over.

Wrestling is not an easy sport. It isn't easy for the wrestlers, obviously. And it isn't easy for the mommies either. I'm happy that he did it, and I think he's learning some incredibly valuable lessons. He's learning to push himself, to try harder than he thinks he's capable of. He's learning to listen to those around him who can teach him, and that when he does what they tell him, it pays off. And he's learning that even when something is hard, pushing through and not giving up can pay off in a big way. If he'd quit and insisted on stopping the match, he wouldn't have been nearly as happy when all was said and done. He felt good about how hard he tried, whether or not he "won." And that's a powerful lesson for a kid to begin learning.