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 one who is 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 accomplishment at all.

However, D and I played a game of cat-and-mouse game for almost his entire class–a repeat of Day Two of his All-Star sports class–when I learned how little control I have over D.

Nothing I tried to make him 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.

Normally, I am a glass half-full type of person who can find a positive in the most bleakest of situations, but by the end of D’s class, all I could see were the negatives. No positives existed.

dom spike

I kept trying to get D to stay with his class, but every time he returned to his class, he would run off again after a few minutes. 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 I needed 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 sometimes have to look hard to find it, but I found my next step later that day as I was looking at pictures of D from his All-Star Sports class.

One picture showed D sitting on dolly and tracking a balloon with his eyes as his partner clasped his hands together ready to hit the balloon. The two four-year-olds were in perfect harmony.

My favorite picture was of D laying in the ball pit, clutcching a yellow and white volleyball, and surrounded by bright-colored balls while having the cheesiest, “I gotcha you, dad” smile.

It caused me to reevaluate my view of his running off from class. I had been frustrated and upset that he would not stay with his class, but his smile in the picture triggered a new perception.

His smile said, “I gotcha you, dad.” And it also said, “I love you, dad.” So while I got frustrated every time he ran off from class, he was enjoying this game of cat-and-mouse with his dad.

This is when I knew what my next positive step would be: to keep on loving my son, to be more determined and purposeful in my parenting, and positively motivated to support him.

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