Earlier this afternoon I watched my 10-year-old son and his team suffer a crushing loss in the championship game of a baseball tournament in which they played their collective hearts out. We were up three runs going into the bottom of the final inning, but we couldn’t hold the lead and came up short. It was one of the greatest battles I have ever witnessed between two teams at this age level, but at the end of the day we simply did not get the job done.
By no means was this loss due to a lack of effort on any level; these kids left it all on the field for three hard-fought games today and came within an out of winning it all. It just came down to the fact that the other team’s best was better than our best today.
So as a father, what do you say to your son after he has just had his heart broken on a level far beyond anything he has ever experienced in his young life? How do you tell a kid to just “shake it off” and “you’ll get ‘em next time” when his heart aches and he is overwhelmed by his feelings? In this situation, you don’t.