FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

All-Star Sports: Day Four

Written By: Scot Butwell - Jul• 18•13

Dom balls best

There is a very fine line between frustration and disappointment. This is what I learned today in D’s All-Star Sports class and I thought he was the  the one supposed to be learning.

There were positive achievements. D coordinated his limbs to bump and spike a volleyball, and never having been good at volleyball, I don’t want to devalue these accomplishments.

However, D and I played a game of cat-and-mouse game for most of his class, and it was a repeat of day two of his All-Star sports class as D had trouble staying with his class.

Nothing I tried to get him to stay with his class worked. And if there was a silver lining to be found, I couldn’t find one–so frustrated was I from playing cat-and-mouse for three hours with D.

Normally, I am a glass half-full type of person who can find a positive in the bleakest situation, but I lost this ability see a positive today, and all I could see were the negatives.

dom spike

IDespite the repeated cycle of failure, I kept trying to get D to stay with his class, but it was like trying to put tape on a wet surface and, later that night, I read these words by Ralph Marston:

“In ways large and small, life can often be disappointing. Yet in every case, you don’t have to let disappointing events keep you discouraged.”

And I needed to hear this:

“In each disappointment there is a priceless gift. That gift is the opportunity you get to become more determined and purposeful and positively motivated.”

Dom vball

And this too:

“For as disappointing as life can be, there is always something positive you can do. What you can do next is what truly matters, and you can choose a positive step no matter what.”

This is what I learned today: there is always a positive next step I can take in every situation. And what I do next is what truly matters and, yes, I must choose to take a positive step.

I may not know what my next step is, and I may sometimes have to look hard to find it, but I found it when I was looking at pictures later that night I’d taken of D in his My Gym class.

One showed D sitting on a dolly and tracking a balloon volleyball with his eyes. His partner clasped his hands together to hit the balloon, and both were a picture of concentration.

But my favorite was D laying in the ball pit surrounded by bright-colored balls and holding a yellow and white volleyball with the absolute cheesiest “I gotcha dad” smile across his face

D had run off from class and succeeded in getting me to chase him. But as I studied the picture, I saw his smile said something besides, “I gotcha dad.” It also said, “I love you, dad.”

This is when I knew what my next positive step would be: to keep loving my son, even despite disappointments and discouragements, and to become more determined, purposeful and positively motivated to love him.


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